The Bridge of Well Being [SSL85]

The Bridge of Well Being [SSL85]

It’s time for another Wednesday audio delivery  of Spark My Muse.
This is Soul School Lesson 85
 [SSL85]

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Featured image is in the public domain and called  “The Suspension Bridge on the Border of Hida and Etchū Provinces” by artist Katsushika Hokusai


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Episode 19 – A Reflection on the nature of Suffering

Episode 19 – A Reflection on the nature of Suffering

I hope you get something helpful from this short episode. There are no typical shownotes this time.

As you hear this essay in verse, may it bring you some solace and comfort if you are in some kind of suffering, grief, or pain at this time.


 

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Is God knowable mainly in reflection?

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Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

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Show notes –
Spark My Muse podcast: Episode 6 – The Skinny on Wine Spritzers and Friendship as Creative Fuel

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Photo by Brett Bastello – Personal Creations (click for link)

Today’s episode covers the skinny on wine spritzers and also how friendship fuels our creative muse.

This episode is brought to you by
the book Dog in the Gap
10 essays inspired by the life lessons learned while befriending with the family canine. Heart warming, full of wonderful photography and good humor. Click the links to learn more to get a copy.

The Bonus Edition is just a $1 more and it contains lots of extras and goodies.

——

What is a wine spritzer exactly and why now is a good time to make one?

First, what’s up with the word “spritzer”?

The word “spritzer” comes from the German spritzen “spatter, squirt, spray, sprinkle”.

(additional note: just saying it involves some spritzing, right?)

The wine sprizter is just a simple drink combination of chilled wine and something that sparkles, such as sparkling mineral water, club soda, or seltzer water.

It’s consumed more for refreshment than anything else!

(It’s easy on the liver.)

• Drinking wine in warm weather or in the hot sun is always a bad idea. The spritzer is a good choice for summer because of its lower alcohol content, less calories, and being less inexpensive than straight wine consumption. Serving them is a great a way for you or your guests to not drink too much before the hambergers are ready at your cookout.

Too much wine (or any alcohol) during the summer will dehydrate you and you can quickly feel tired or ill.

Spritzers are mixed in various ratios and sometimes fruit juice is added.
The two most common are 50/50 or,
1/2 cup club soda to 1 cup of wine.

• The Spanish use red wine, fruit, and lemon soda. That sounds delicious!

I think wine or juice Spritzers are the go-to outdoor party beverage that provides a less expensive refreshing treat for outdoor entertaining and outdoor fun, sunny get-togethers, and bonding with friends. (They can be made without alcohol for teetotalers or children too–just skip the wine and add more fruit juice.)

• For parties, you can fill a punch bowl with the right ratios.

Some of my favorite wine spritzer recipes!

The Super Simple Spritzer

Just two ingredients:
6 ounces of a reasonably priced of white wine – or a blush wine–
plus 6 ounces of 7-Up (or try sprite or ginger ale).

 

Sublime Citrus Spritzer
2 lemon slices, 2 lime slices, 5 ice cubes.
4 ounces of your your favorite white wine and 2 ounces of lemon-lime seltzer.

Peach Dream Party Bowl Spritzer

6 quartered peaches and 2 tablespoons of honey.

Mix into a blender and puree. Place in a pitcher and chill for about two hours, then mix in a bottle of white wine, and stir well.

Finally, add a liter of cold sparkling water or seltzer.

Garnish with mint and extra slices of peach.

 

Citrus Ice Cube Party Pitcher Spritzer
2 lemons, zested
2 small oranges, zested (or 1 large orange, zested)
1 bottle white or blush wine
3 cups sparkling water
Directions:
Place the zest as a mixture into an empty ice cube tray, add water and freeze for 3 to 5 hours.

In a large pitcher, combine the wine and the sparkling water and then the citrus zest ice cubes.

Stir and serve.

 

White Wine and Fruity Sweet Party Spritzer
1 bottle of sweet white wine
3/4 cup white grape juice or apple juice
1 liter bottle desired-flavor low-calorie sparkling water, chilled.

(optional and delicious Assorted fresh fruits (such as raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, sliced kiwifruit, blueberries, lemon slices, lime slices, halved strawberries, or red grapes)
Directions
1 In a large punch bowl combine wine and grape juice.

Just before serving, slowly pour in sparkling water.

If desired, garnish individual servings with fruit. Makes 10 (6-ounce) servings
——

SPARK MY MUSE: On friendship….

David Whyte:

Friendship is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn. A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die.


Little Prince

(previous entry)

C.S. Lewis

Friendship, unlike cooperation, is unnecessary to human survival.
Friendship, like philosophy and art is one of the things that gives value to survival.
how friendship differs from the other three types of love by focusing on its central question: “Do you see the same truth.”

Anne Lamott

In the course of the years a close friendship will always reveal the shadow in the other as much as ourselves, to remain friends we must know the other and their difficulties and even their sins and encourage the best in them, not through critique but through addressing the better part of them, the leading creative edge of their incarnation, thus subtly discouraging what makes them smaller, less generous, less of themselves.


My essay:

Pertaining to sparking one’s muse. Good friends, that offer selflessly the balance of honesty and gentleness, toughness and acceptance, encouragement and motivation breath life into our lives and our art. Being social creatures, as humans, we crave social bonds even though they inevitably cause us pain at times. Isolated, for too long, we shrink into ourselves with self-delusion, self-absorption, unwarranted loathing and aggrandizement.

Aloneness is a dread for many or a craving for those misfit. And even those misfit hope, sometimes, to find someone else in the dark that might recognize him and name him and finally tell him he is well enough and valuable. Only in the mirror of friendship can we have solid footing and might be drawn out into our best selves. Erotic love has too much fire and entanglement for that. Agape love too much work and abdication. Brotherly love too much responsibility and duty. Only a soul friend can birth you into your actualization most purely.

Friends and confidants help us be continually born into the next stage of development. We risk with them and they with us and the synergy makes us stronger. At its best it is a fountain of grace sourced in Originator of Love and Goodness.


Do you have a question or do you have an idea for the show? Please let me know! :)

 

Episode 2 (Wet Dog Fur Wine and Brene Brown)

Show notes:

Episode 2 (Wet Dog Fur Wine and Brene Brown)

Make sure your wine never tastes like wet dog fur. huh?

 

Spark my muse is The podcast for curious creatives types, wine newbies, and those willing to put up with my occasional silliness. Thank you so much for sharing your time with me.

Today:

How wine can go to the dogs and how to best store wine in the wine segment.

Plus, a bit about a topic and a book that has made a huge difference in my life.

This episode of the podcast is brought to you by:

Dog in the Gap

Having a pet in your care, who helplessly depends on your for life and well being can teach you a lot of things. 10 essays both funny and insightful written by 2 authors and plenty of memorable photos.

Or get the bonus addition for $1 more that has an extra essay and non public video links, and other assorted goodies.
Name Your Link

Today’s wine segment!

Why might your wine taste like wet dog fur….and what to do about it?

Basic Stats:
A wine bottle has 25.33 oz. (750ml).
A serving (a glass) of wine is 5 oz . (Half way up the glass is full. Where the glass is widest (aroma reasons in the design)
1 bottle = five glasses.

If your wine smells stale or like wet dog fur…it is Corked!

(The cork is not working and too much air has mixed with the wine.)

Wine last 24 hours if the air is pumped out
Here’s the one I recommend we use it at work. It pays for itself after two uses.

Wine lasts only a few hours if it’s not pumped. It’s not harmful, but it won’t taste its best. Pushing the cork back in won’t help too much because air is trapped in there.

Another reason Wine is stored on its side to expand the cork. A bottle corked with a plastic cork won’t be helped by horizontal storage.

On the next PODCAST – I’ll talk about my favorite tool for opening wine and why, and the bottle opening tools you should (probably) avoid !

 

Now to spark your Muse

Brené Brown’s work made its mark on me before she did her famous 1st TED TALK which lead to you famous ins TED Talk on her research about shame and vulnerability at the University of Houston.

 

 

The topics in the book and some of the passages I’ll read to you have really gained new significance  because putting up a podcast is risky. I feel vulnerable and I feel like I might get rejected. Some people won’t like it and I can’t change that. I don’t want to fail. And I don’t want to look like an idiot. And looking like an idiot is extremely probable.

When we are about to step out into unknown territory or if we doing something that makes us more vulnerable the two main things we think are “who do you think you are?” and “You’rd going to look like a fool” and I might add one to that “You won’t do it right” (it ’s related to the 2nd one) Maybe you can think of others that come to you mind.

We seem okay to handle other people’s vulnerability but really reluctant to risk that ourselves.

Excerpts from Daring Greatly:

Pg 35 “I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure”

My note: We can’t risk feeling vulnerable if we are dealing with shame.

pg 68 “people who don’t experience shame lack the capacity for empathy and human connection”

My note: Social also social pain. We fear rejection and isolation.

pg 67 “shame derives its power from being unspeakable”

Language and story bring light to shame and destroy it

pg 71

Guilt is “I did something wrong”

Shame is “I am bad” (or “I am something wrong”)

• When new feel shame we lash out, get anxious, hide, or numb out, and really we need to do the opposite of those things to have victory.

• Instead of lashing out or hiding we need to reach out, to some one we can trust.

• Instead of overcompensating we have to cut ourselves a break. “I make mistakes. I’m moving on past this one.”

Pg 80 Brené says “If I own the story I get to write the ending.” I just heard a fascinating TED TALK from Monica Lewinsky and she sounds like she’s taking this advise. She said it was time to take back her story and control her own narrative.

Reaching out and being honest creates an environment of empathy, and that’s really why I’m sharing all this with you.

Don’t be afraid to create and do things that are your passion. And mess up while doing them. I’m messing up a lot, but I’m trying to not let those mistakes put me in a choke hold of shame and inaction.

I hope you will be inspired to do the same.

Thanks for listening today!

Or if you have read Daring Greatly, what was the most powerful thing you learned. I’d love to hear from you! Leave comments at sparkmymuse.com or the email contact@sparkmymuse.com

subscribe to the podcast….tell your friends what you and I have been up to. See you soon.

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Essay on Youth

Some of my thoughts on youth, now that it’s in the rear view mirror.

Youth: a chronic condition that ends in time.

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teen star (CC file found here)

The stage of Youth: A time characterized by excitement, worry, hope, fear, misplaced confidence, and options (plenty of which are set to expire).

Nothing breathes fresh air into a situation like an eager youth ready to learn, try, fail, and keep trying. It inspires the younger ones and rallies the older ones.

Nothing is more endearing than a youth who prizes earlier generations and lacks the blinding hubris typical to the stage of the development.

and to the god of our age….Youth, Oh the beauty of it. Personified, Venus, her name. (Youthful Beauty…or what nearly every commercial directed at females is about.)

Like a baby unblemished and without scars, youth displays itself on the young like a pillar of potential, a stack of dreams and promises, shinning and magnificent, and frozen for just that moment in time. Though what youth feels this truly? Youth is a self-deluding time: The stage seems expansive when you are in it, and experience can’t bear this out differently because of the great lack of it.

Sustaining this impossibility of sustained youth, this age of supposed perfection becomes the futile and bitter plight for too many. And the fight for it is nonsensical.

Youth is a stage to be enjoyed and then left behind like outgrown clothes, once pristine, but all-too-soon ill-fitting and inappropriate for the rest of the voyage. Ballet slippers are shed for work boots.

How true that Youthful beauty is but one kind. Though who knows this?

By being convinced that beauty has a pinnacle (age 21?) too may rue the loss of this exterior sort of it–never realizing the false conception is not based on much more than societal conventions and symmetry…but it sells a lot of face cream, doesn’t it?

Yes, the flower of spring is glorious (youth indeed), but the whole plant, or tree, is the greater thing. An oak, a tower in homage to resilience, humanity in the full, of which youthful can never assail, let alone master.

The joy and glory of youth is the promise of accomplishment. Like graduation ceremonies and semi-finals matches.

Though what youth sees it this way?

And what about the resentment of youth by the no longer young?
Maybe it stems from the regret of the energy and options lost. The verve the youths possess can seem enviable. Though they (youth) don’t know it, their blatant inexperience and lack of wisdom, from the outside, seems pitiful, just like the weakness and lethargy of advanced years seem like that to the youth.

“What a young fool,” says the man.

“What a tired and bitter old man,” says the youth.

Both under-estimated.

And back to confidence.

Youthful confidence rests in that accomplishments are assured with effort and willingness. (Though it seems different to them sometimes. For them, confidence may rest mainly in feeling the power of mind and body so fully.)

This confidence is often shattered or dismantled within a decade because of the slings and arrows of life. But occasionally not, and never for the narcissist.

Sickness, financial strain, mishaps, circumstances, failure, and the most debilitating – early success – strip out the potency of youthful confidence. With persistence and determination this is replaced by the better things:

  • stability of character
  • the resolution of will 
  • fortitude of spirit

But, best of all: the of acquisition compassion necessary for the species to survive, or even–sometimes– thrive.

(Oh, that it is empathic compassion, not pity, is the impetus for acts of goodness.)

And what of maturity of the youth? 

A mature youth is only mature compared to his peers or the fools of older generations.

And for good reason. Maturity is a gift, not a certainty. It comes through time, but also by Grace, just as youth and health come. Though who knows this?

A “mature youth” is usually an oxymoronic attribute, as genuine maturity involves accumulating wisdom.

Maturity and wisdom come through testing and testing by the passage of time well-lived and the battles of life well-tested.

Youthful maturity is then only the bud of it which, if it is there at all, is necessarily nestled in humility (knowing well, or in some good manner, the terrible disadvantage of inexperience).

In the end, the unknown exists for all, but the degrees and varieties of it change as time passes and aging happens. Both exciting and terrifying–needing courage and inner strength.

It goes in stages from

“What will I become?”

to

“What will become of me, and us all?”

 

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