Saturday, January 15, 2011

Magical Books

There are so many books I could write about.   I have a passion for writing and reading and books that has had me enchanted for as long as I can remember.  In general, I think books are magical, period.  Sure there are some that are simply not my cup of tea but those books that are ...  oh, the ones that are for me, wow!  They can totally captivate me, bring me to a place I never knew existed, open my heart and my mind and affect me in a way that nothing else can.   

To discuss here all of the books that have meaning to me would take up far too much time; I honestly feel that our relationships with books are as personal and intricate as those relationships we have with people.  The book is the book and we bring our own meaning to it, develop our relationship with it, and though the words that we read may be the same, the book is a different experience for each individual reader.  

So given the history I have had with numerous, memorable and marvelous books, it may seem a little odd that I've decided to share here the part of the comments that I've just posted on about a book I have not even finished reading yet, a book that is not is living up to the expectations some fans had of it, a book that might not seem to fit in so much with other content found in this blog so far.

The book I'm referring to is Witch & Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet.  I've been reading this book (aloud) most days with my son and having conversations about what we've been reading, what's happening to the characters and their world.  We are about half-way through this book; it has fairly short chapters and so we generally have been reading 2-4 chapters each day.  The very best part of this book for me is the reading experience I am sharing with my son which is why I decided to share part of those comments here:

At his age of 12 (grade 7), he is required to read particular novels for school and I've been so discouraged to find that this has been dulling his appreciation for reading in general. He's less inclined to read in general because with each new book he feels "forced" to read (but doesn't really enjoy) at school, he has been losing any sense of pleasure that reading had held. 

Enter, Witch & Wizard, an N.O. world that it seems he can really relate to, a world where everything resembles a New Order (our way or N.O.-way!) dictatorship. Everything under the control of "them" or in this case the head of the N.O., "The-One-Who-Is-The-One". To have any semblance of choice or of being authentic in this land, you must be willing to stand up and take action; push the boundaries, re-examine what you think you know, be willing to live on the edge of adventure and possibly lose your life trying to find a way live in a world that makes little sense. 

I don't believe I happened upon this book by accident, I really wanted a novel that would capture my son's interest and that is exactly what I found here... absolute magic! It's presented in a way that he (my son) could totally relate to, and I am honestly enjoying this N.O. adventure myself. I can only say "BRAVO" to the authors, a job well done!

Since my last post here I've been reading and writing every single day and exercising five days a week.  I've continued with each of my daily readings  and the course.  As noted above, I've been reading a book with Troy but we've also been playing games most evenings, usually cards or chess.  When I get in the way of his chess moves he says to me in fun, "Stop postponing my greatness!" and we both laugh knowing his greatness will come in due time.

Today I am grateful for my beautiful children, Letitia and Troy; I'm grateful for the ability to read and write, and I'm also grateful that both of my children have these same skills.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I like to have good dreams, even strange dreams and be able to recall them upon waking.  My dreams are so unpredictable.  I can seemingly not have any for months and then have many in a night, night after night.  Sometimes I have just enough recollection to know that I did dream and that is it, no detail or story to relate. Other times, I may have had a dream that was very vivid and story-like, but trying to express it later to someone or to write about it makes me realize how much of it is hazy and morphed transformations of almost-things, almost-people and almost-places, making it very difficult to describe and maintain the same kind of validity and reality it had while asleep. 

Dreams can be very vague and yet they can still haunt me, make me feel as though there is some message of importance that I am supposed to be able to decipher from them.  Perhaps the point where my sleep and wakefulness meet is a transfer from dream consciousness to thought consciousness but instead of expertly passing the baton like a seasoned relay runner, I end up playing a game of broken telephone and guessing what the basic of the dream was, never mind an attempt of interpretation of possible meanings.

There are many people who believe in particular and varying methods of dream analysis, some seemingly generic or superstitious as to what dreams mean.  Most resources do say that interpretation is up to the individual dreamer.  The books and resources that claim that a dream of "X" is actually about "such-n-such" remain as a mystery to me, since our individual interpretation of meaning and language vary from person to person, I am not very clear on how this works, but that hasn't stopped me from curiously looking up certain dreams over the years, just to see.

Two nights ago I had a dream, although I'm pretty sure the dream was more involved or longer than what I'm about to describe, there is just one brief moment of the dream that I recall with clarity.  The strange part of it is that generally speaking, even if I have a pretty clear recall of a scene from a dream, unless it is something that I really wanted to share with someone, there is no point in mentioning it.  Like, for instance, I might tell a friend that I dreamed of them or the school they used to attend, or a bike they once owned. 

For some reason the little snippet of this particular dream, despite having no intention of sharing it with anyone, has continued to pop into my memory for the past two days.   In my dream I was reaching up onto a shelf to locate something when, somehow, my mind moved a box that was beside what I was trying to get.  Now, how did my mind do it?   I don't know.  Why I am saying that I used my powers to do this instead of coming to the conclusion that the box moved of it's own accord or by some other power... is because that was the message of my dream.  That was the knowledge or the knowing or the story part of that scene.  That the awareness I had in that moment of the dream was that I was capable of making this happen, even if I wasn't aware of the hows yet.

That picture has continued to return to me for two days now at random times, to the point that I now find myself writing about it. 
The dream seemed to be about something else entirely.  For instance, comparing it to viewing the Wizard of Oz movie and recalling only the part of the trees throwing apples misses the point of the movie.  That's what this bit was in my dream, something that was seemingly so trivial, it did not appear to be the story or point of the dream, the dream seemed to be about something else, like perhaps what I was getting down from the shelf in the first place.  

As far as dream interpretation is concerned, I plead less-than amateur status, I really know very little on the subject.  I do believe that this dream though was in fact able to pass a message along to me, a message of encouragement to continue to go for my dreams, to know I have the ability to remove obstacles, to keep on pursuing my aspirations and to know that I do have what it takes, inside of me, to make them happen.  As corny as this sounds, I believe my dream was a message to have faith and perseverance in my life's dreams and know that I do have the power to realize my dreams.

I was writing morning pages easily, I did daily readings, Lesson 4, and spent some time talking and relaxing with my son and reading with him too.

Today I am grateful for public libraries and Lipton's peach and mango white tea.


Today has been all about love for me.  I've been living with it, acting on it, recalling it, dreaming of it, reading about it, pondering it, writing about it.  Heck, I even watched the 15th season opening episode of The Bachelor tonight, where people search for love on a prime time reality television show. 

I'm not certain if it is all about synchronicity, coincidence or something else but I have noticed this type of pattern that I come to refer to as themes going on in my life repeatedly in recent years. I've come across notes and stories of other people having experienced similar things and having their own theories and reasonings for them, though I do not claim to have any answer for the sudden appearance of the themes I recognize in my current life.  

One idea I have regarding what these themes may mean for me, is that they may suggest that I have been thinking on a topic, perhaps unconsciously, with such a frequency that it has now become this theme;  I have no way of knowing how true this might be because I am, by definition, unaware of my unconscious thoughts.  This idea feels pretty valid for me on a couple of levels and so it is one I will explore it as I observe it more over time.  

I did all of the daily readings that I'd intended to today and both Lessons 2 and 3 arrived today by email.  Morning pages flowed without effort.  Walked with Leslie Sansone video today.  Read quite a bit with Troy this evening after having played another session to determine tie-breaker from yesterday's game - he won!
I would have gone outside to watch shooting stars if I could find them, since apparently there is a meteor shower going on, however it is totally overcast and rainy here, leaving nothing for me to see.

Today I am grateful for candlelight and moonlight.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Change happens, some of it so naturally that I hardly notice it, some of it with much struggle.  Hours can blur into days, days into weeks, in such a fashion that a year can appear to go by without truly recognizing the passage of 365 days.  Making note of today, doing whatever is done in this measure of twenty four hours with awareness and mindfulness was not on my radar years ago in the way that it is now; then, it meant something quite different to me, as I did not have the ability then to see things as I see them now.

I have had changing expectations in recent years.  Over time, life's experiences have shaped me in ways that I don't always recognize immediately; thoughts and ideas that were once relevant might now be mind clutter as I continue to define (and refine) my outlook, in particular by looking inward. 

This blog of progress notes is not meant to be read to see growth or development but rather more like a guidepost to recognize in the entries the passage of time which often eludes me.  "Raptruth" has multi-layered meaning in word play for me, and I simply adore playing with words and language.  

  • RAP, being my initials
  • Ruth, being my first name
  • rap truth: speaking my truth
  • rapt ruth: completely absorbed, emotionally transported and spiritually filled with awe and wonder

In these posts are snippets of my daily life and thoughts.  They are not meant to be profound or entertaining or anything other than what they are: an observation of what I do with some of my time and, from time to time, a bit of commentary about what is going on in my mind and in my life.

I woke up early this morning, shivering and shaking as though I was asleep on a cold concrete slab and would never again warm up.  My son Troy helped take care of me.  With an extra comforter, heat turned up, and a bit more sleep, I did wake again later feeling just fine although  I have been feeling quite drained all day long.

Morning pages did not come easily for me today.  I had much trouble focusing on them, feeling rather spacey, which may have had to do with how my morning began.  I did recognize, as I brought myself back to the pen in my hand, that the words I wrote held some insights for me.  I did not receive Course Lesson 2 via email today, however I did the lesson by locating the page of insights on the website; did my other daily readings also.  Spent some time today listening to audio of Byron Katie and Wayne W. Dyer, also spent time reading from a couple of his books.  Went for a walk with Troy today and bumped into Jim while we were stopped to get a hot drink at the mall.  Later, Troy and I read a chapter from the novel we are currently reading together, Witch & Wizard.  We also played the game of Best Seller that had been a Christmas gift from Cathy, and had a few laughs playing the game, which ended in a tie; the tie-breaker resulted in a tie too, so we will attempt another tie-breaker tomorrow.  

Being blessed, as I am, I have so much to be grateful for and sometimes the obvious is too obvious yet needs to be said, lest it be overlooked.  I do try to show my appreciation directly to those people that are a part of my life, in little ways, at various random times.  Which is not to say that people and things have escaped my notice though I may not have taken the opportunity to express it at the time that they made my heart lighter.

Today, I am grateful to simply be.

Start Of The Year 2011

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Today I read the January 1 entry in a book called Courage to Change, One Day at a Time in Al-Anon. The Serenity Prayer is well-known in the communities of Twelve Step Programs. It's significance driven home for me in a new way today as, avid reader that I am, I not only read the January 1 entry but almost read the January 2 entry and more on  auto-pilot mode, reading for the sake of reading (and discovering) more. I caught myself as I was about to turn the page.  

Awareness of what I'd just read began to find a home within me and resonate as important: being mindful of this meant to absorb one daily reading at the pace of one reading per day, to do otherwise is to behave in a way that totally contradicts the spirit of the whole message.
The end-part of the reading invited the reader to think of what could be done with just this day, since we are only able to take (immediate) action in this day.

Truthfully, I could have read ahead, a month or a year's worth of entries, who would be the wiser? The answer is: not me. I would be cheating myself of the One Day at a Time experience, that is the basic format for the Twelve Step programs. Which brings me back to the Serenity Prayer, the wisdom to know the difference is not one that I can learn from schools and books, it is the omnipotent wisdom of the ages of the universe that can only come from the source, my higher power, God.

Today I intentionally decided to take a different approach to a couple of ongoing projects. These progress notes might seem like nonsensical details in some parts, however this blog which will stand on it's own, is part of a larger project. 

Some things I did today: TAW morning pages, Lesson 1 in AC; read Bible; called Roma and Jim, Ray, Shan and had several lengthy telephone conversations; read novel with son; laughed, played, exercised with son as we played Wii Sports; prepared special New Year's meals for us; some cleaning; some clutter cleared away too. I didn't get a couple of things done that I'd had in mind, however, I did get several things done that I hadn't planned on.  This was a good start of the year 2011 for me.

Today I am grateful for access to the internet, Panda's new home, Christmas presents, Lagostina cookware, and the ability to read. 

Each day I am grateful for many things, including: Troy and Letitia, family and friends, solitude, books, companionship, music, games, good health, my senses, nature's beauty, delicious foods, safe shelter, technology, clothes, creative inspirations, clean running water, laughter, love, God.