Posted in friends, Gratitude, Uncategorized

Hierarchy Part 2


the stairs in japan


The husband looks up from his newspaper and says
“maybe those old friendships just weren’t that strong to begin with.”

Sundays are always the hardest afternoons. Memories of family dinners, picnics and phone conversations with loved ones. The ones who wanted to look for benefits,  opportunities, for fresh gossip, new customers and clients-it’s always agenda first-what did you expect? Remember how it all started?

I told you from beginning I don’t chase after people. I chase after mountains and canopied sequoia in my heart center. The children called and that’s what matters. Somebody called with a  voice,  real voices. Not an email, a text or a form letter once a year at Christmas.

I thumb through my old fashioned hand written address book and have to sigh over the names of those who crossed over or who moved on. It’s held together with duct tape. Time for a separation ceremony.

Look alive, my soul! You already  know the score. There is none. All is contained within the Tao.


Really,  take another look says the voice of the Higher Self.

Sometimes I climb those stairs by myself
as if in some foreign place,
yet, the place is not strange at all.

I have been alone before.

Other lifetimes
different clothing.
Shed the outworn threadbare with a prayer
wrapping up
in a shawl for my shoulders.

I climb the stairs by myself.

I must try.

Posted in Gratitude, journaling, memoir

Rainy Day Memories

Grampa Lamming with my name copy


In the basement darkroom I tapped the paper gently in the tray

stirring the strong liquids.

I’d learned to wait for the image.

Within seconds it floats up into my vision, excitedly I proceed,

so I may hang the pictures of my work to dry on the line

and later, to study.

The flaws and white spots don’t make sense at all

but I save the photographs anyway.

Thirty years later I recognize the circles as orbs,

and not mistakes at all.

Sparkling spirits, guiding lights, and angels of mercy

accompanied my quiet grandfather throughout his days.

He was a man who looked out the window often

checking the skies for signs of Spring.

He lived within a sixty mile radius his whole life, from farm into town, from carriages to Model T’s, always Fords, for he labored on Henry Ford’s farm.

He was sure of the perfect time to plant, locating the seeds in their practical places.

When we were little

his hands felt like the warmest mittens of cinnamon and apple tobacco,

tiny hints of the grandmother I’d never known,

I longed to see her eyes.

I wanted to find out who she was, a seamstress named  Esther.







Posted in blog challenge, celebrations, current events, Gratitude, inspirational, memoir, stream of consciousness writing, time

Antique Browsing for Modern Dummies

                                                         scribeners 1890

Hello readers. If I haven’t responded to each of one of you, it’s because I’m not organized. Forgive me! I’m not ignoring you-it’s really a case of AES, aka eyes, aka aging eye syndrome.

 I want to say thank you for being there and, to my FB family, I’m overwhelmed by all your kind birthday wishes. It’s not my habit to make a big deal of the birthday thing, but this year I am going to enjoy it by talking about “it.” One of my indigenous teachers reminded us years ago to thank our mothers and fathers on birthdays. Sounds good to me. Any chance to be festive is fine and dandy. Speaking of dandy, a term nobody uses much anymore, here is the blog challenge.

Antique antics. What’s the oldest thing you won-toys, clothing, Twinkies, Grecian urns. Anything’s fair game. Recount its history from the object’s point of view.


woman in repose


A sense of what is current
I give you stories and knowledge,
the ads are fresh for this season-it’s nothing new-
topics listed-summer styles to better digestion,
food prices, tools for the handyman, salves, potions, ointments,
spices and flavors, garden seeds, dates for events.
I give you
articles on weddings, cures for baldness,
calming hysteria for women, easing tension, games for children,
conversations on building self-confidence, catering and career.
Mysteries, muscles, chocolate truffles,
I am the latest magazine now faded into gingery paper
selling you thrills and ideas, bidding, counting, recruiting…
it’s current where I live in 1890.



sue with chey in background copy

Grandma Sue-turning 61-2014




Posted in angels, Gratitude, poetry, transitions

In Attendance

close up the chair by the window copy


Attend a dance

Attend a party

A tender dance

I tend

to dance

tending to freedom.

I am the attendant,

Archangel Azriel.

Did 7 hours of silence, a long version of trance channeling. When a great one crosses over I don’t feel sad as much as I feel a quiet and deep presence as the soul sheds the material body. As we are in attendance, we make the journey with the loved one by holding and honoring the earthly life that transitions. Freedom!

Posted in Gratitude, holidays, Writing for healing

Gratitude Wrap Up November 2013

                                              candle collage

Hello readers, thank you for being there. You rock. Here’s the  rest of the gratitude list.

Thanksgiving Day November 28 2013: I am grateful to be able to afford a simple meal and deliver cheery messages to friends and relatives. We had a quiet day this year. Looking forward to seeing family soon. We are not always traditionally scheduled, so we celebrate when we can. Mmmmm….. cranberries….mashed potatoes and gravy. Pies!

Today, November 29. I am grateful for my First Nations teacher and my mentors, and  the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers.  I am not quite able to get the words written yet. From you I learn the true meaning of humility, but the word is not even close to what you demonstrate during our time together. Your bravery, courage, and humor about devastation  is  something I am not qualified to articulate. But I can try.  My life is dedicated to the honor of knowing you.

Bill Wahpepah

  In loving memory Bill Wahpepah

I am grateful for poetry – it saves my sanity.

I am grateful for education.

Most of all, I am grateful for my dear  life partner, my children and my grandchildren on both sides of the family, and for my friends. That’s a book by itself.

And, I’m grateful for my challenges and troubles for without them, I would not know shadow. There’s no fancy or literary way to say it.

Moving on, looking forward. Time to re-organize and get ready for December and then the New Year!  Happy Holidays everybody!

Journal prompt: Do you like the holidays and what do you celebrate? What is your favorite  holiday experience and what aspects do you find challenging, if any?  Free write about how you feel about traditions or religious celebrations  if you have them.

                        candle in black and white

Copyright © 2013 art and  text by Susan E. Rowland

Posted in Gratitude, inspirational

Gratitude for Prayer Chains: Post 24

final prayer chain

I am grateful for prayer chains and never too proud to pray. My focus is non-denominationally spiritual. I’ve been using prayer chains for decades. They help… and I’m not talking recruiting for religion or guilt trips or tithing or sin.  I’m talkin’ about the pure goodness of people.

You can go to any Unity Church and make a request.  You don’t have to be religious or spiritual to have someone pray for you.  Call somebody who attends a church or temple. No questions asked. No affiliation necessary. If praying freaks you out, try Reiki .

Lots of love and blogging cheer to you all,

She who prays often.

Posted in Gratitude, memoir, music, parenting

Perseverance: Gratitude Post 20, Baby!

eight ball copy.jpg with blair's name

Dear readers, I hope you guys are doing well! Thank you for stopping by. It’s day 20 of the November gratitude journal. Woo-hoo! Here’s a quickie free write, free association blogpost.

I am grateful for tenacity and perseverance and not being behind the eight ball or between a rock and a hard place, or stuck in the middle, or down in the dumps or  any of that.

Understand what I’m saying?

My son, Blair did the above cartoon when he was in middle school, if I remember right. Blair drew and tapped his way through life and is now a professional drummer. He started out with a practice pad at about six. He stayed with that darn pad for a year, never complaining. Slowly, piece by piece, a real  drum set moved in. I was always involved with music, his bio dad was a guitar player, and  Jesse, a gospel singer. Music was in the woodwork.

This kid was always into rhythm. During my pregnancy, I played James Brown, Duke Ellington, early  jazz and classical standards. We sang all the time.  In his  second and third grade years, I would get notes sent home about him, something to the effect of “Blair gets bored easily and constantly taps his pencil on the desk…” What’s the mother of a drummer to do? How did I ever survive it? How do kids survive it all?

From our experience, independent study during senior year in high school saved the restless forward- focused lives of both my kids. They wanted to be in the adult world ASAP. Living at home was not at the top of their priority lists. Living in a small town meant there were lots “aunts and uncles” to help with the task of transition during their busy lives.  Somehow, through sheer tenacity, a lot of demanding on my part-ie-you WILL  graduate high school-and fervent pleading with the man upstairs, our kids made it to adulthood and beyond. I still marvel at it.

 Both my kids got jobs as soon as the ink was fresh on the work permit and not because anybody “made them.” The deal was if you wanted to drive, you paid insurance, which back then was almost affordable with an after school job. Driving was a privilege that had to be earned. About jobs, we had three of us in the same family who worked at the local Japanese restaurant and sushi bar, which was owned by a local fishing family.

This post is dedicated to parents, grandparents, and great-grands everywhere who are raising kids or involved with care-giving. The sheer will to persevere is more than a line from the I Ching.  Perseverance is the ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’

Journal prompt: How are you feeling lately about challenges? What does perseverance mean to you? Do you have children or are you involved with their care? What stories inspire you about overcoming adversity?

Copyright © 2013 text by Susan E. Rowland

Art credit: Blair W. Rowland-Mullen

Posted in Gratitude, inspirational, journal prompts, journaling, spirituality, Tao

Gratitude Post 18: All That Is, a New Being of Light

                                  chey b day june 2010 031

I am grateful for what is…just the way it is…all that is…right now. Thank you God, the Source of All That Is. You are so Great, beloved Almighty.

I am grateful for what is not.  I appreciate  the space that is not identified, that is free. It’s  the place  between the words where magic lives. It is not in the proving, the working and the struggle.  It is unspoken and never categorized.

My fears scatter into the earth to be fodder for new growth.  Leaves open for sparkles and elfin dances. Mind is the Creator. Heart is Activator. Action is the Designer.

In the way of One, the TAO there is no resistance because alchemy transforms energy into Light.

chey b day june 2010 066

In the way of simplicity and joy only the now moment exists. It is now and for all time, a new being of Light.


I’m only landing here for a moment. Then my soul travels back home again.

Journal prompt: What are you thankful for today?

Copyright © 2013 photos, text by Susan E. Rowland

Posted in Gratitude

November Daily Gratitude Posts

OOPS, so glad I am not a surgeon. I hit the publish button instead of save draft. Oops..

Here we go.

Traditionally November is the month people start planning for the holidays here in the US. Thanksgiving is November 28th so folks write about gratitude. Harvest decorations abound  with images of turkeys, table settings, cranberries and of course,  Pilgrims and Native Americans. We all know that without Native American  expertise and humanitarian aid  the European settlers would certainly have starved.

Every day this month I will post a gratitude statement. It’s something that helps most people in journal writing, so I encourage everyone to keep grateful lists. I will do two for today. 🙂

November 1, Gratitude statement 1: I am grateful for you, my readers, and to all the fantastic people I meet over the internet. I appreciate you for liking my blog and for stopping by. I try to read all of yours and get to the comments section, but if I don’t, here it is right here. GREAT JOB you guys! I’m still a newbie-my goal is to keep writing. I know bloggers are supposed to “drive traffic to your site”  and all that, but, really…I enjoy reading your work.

November 2, Statement 2: I am grateful for the earth and all her beauty, her moods, her nurturing. I love being able to sit outside under a tree and write.