Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Appleton, Wisconsin, USA
I've found writing to be a deep way of communicating with and about my self, my community, my world. I'm incorporating that here, where I'll share my creating and my thoughts with you. It's an experiment that will continue as long as it feels good.
I'm sitting with my usual pot of tea, looking over what I wrote to you yesterday, watching through the window as winds blow the leaves outside...and... Wait! What is this?!...the tiniest amount of the tiniest snowflakes! This is so exciting! I love seeing the first snowfall(s) of the season - even when it's nearly so small to miss. What a sweet surprise, especially after the warmth of recent days.
We're coming into the time of deepest darkness, the Winter Solstice, and the return of the sun. If you are seeking slowness, rest, and resetting during this season, please remember to join me on January 7th, 2018, at the Appleton Public Library, 3pm-4pm. I will be playing improvisational piano music that is conducive to this. It may even be inspiring to you.
NEW STORE! NEW ITEMS!
I'm releasing postcards and greeting cards that I hope will bring joy, connection, and community into many more lives.
There's nothing like opening the mailbox to find mail! Physical, paper correspondence from an acquaintance, a loved one, or a friend always brings a smile to my face. I like how these exchanges allow me to know someone in a different way than email or text messaging. I can recognize their handwriting, and see what little visual package they've been drawn to send me. I like both the simple sentiments and the deeply vulnerable moments that can be shared paper mail.
For your convenience, I accept credit cards via PayPal. If you need to make other purchasing arrangements, please email me at info@JenniferLevenhagen.com .
Each card is printed on recycled paper.
Coordinating white envelopes are included with the purchase of any greeting card and are also optional with snowflake postcards.
In addition to utilizing my website and email, I'm also on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. That's where you'll get the most current updates, posts, images, and music. Your likes, shares, and follows help me reach people through these means. Thank you!
INSTAGRAM - for your viewing pleasure
Click on any image to head directly to my Instagram page. A new window will open, so you won't loose your place here.
December 21st is the northern hemisphere's Winter Solstice. It's the longest, darkest night of the year. Even as the southern hemisphere is in its summer season, our northern shadows and sunbeams are longer, and the days are shorter. The air gets cooler, soon the snow is falling, and we officially enter winter.
As winter winds delay, cold and snowy December memories have new meaning. When I was a kid, my brother and I would make snow forts and sledding hills out of the piles of snow he shoveled of the driveway. We would dig in, making a room large enough for both of us. We would sometimes have blizzards, which we'd bundle up for in a multitude of clothing layers, letting no skin exposed, and topping it off with swim goggles to protect our eyes from the cold winds.
However, the other night I was listening to big booms of thunder as rain came down in Wisconsin on December 3rd. Witnessing climate change is a big deal. So big, that in order to grasp it, I need a larger perspective. It's more than rain replacing snow, and it's different than all heat and no cold.
I'm concerned for the health of plants that feed us, the rising of the waters that we need yet do not care for, and the many moments of human error that spark literal and metaphorical fires around the globe; the societal pains that already have people dying, hungry, alone, and in despair. The health of people and planet are so entwined. What will happen as our most basic resources are depleted?
My songs often explore what it means to be human living on this earth. Particularly, my song The Fire speaks to our human-earth connections, and how necessary our attention is. Another favorite song that explores this particularly well, is Kevin Mason's tune Bet on the Weather. His insightful lyricism is well worth a deep listen (or two or three, or unlimited...).
This Winter Solstice, I am reflecting on the changes of the winter, big world issues, and the outside world. But like each solstice, my aim is to focus inward. Though it's always a good time to do so, the Solstice especially inspires me to reflect deeply. I consider my self, my life, and my choice. I light candles and appreciate the beauty of their flickering. Sometimes I am alone with these reflections, and sometimes I share this vulnerable and poignant time with people I am close with.
As is my tradition, this Winter Solstice I will be reflecting and asking myself questions. Where and when is my awareness? Where is there friction in my life? What brings me joy? What inspires me to slow down or speed up? What may I need or want to change? How am I nourishing myself? Am I sharing this? How am I?
What do you ask yourself during these times?
I hope you have space to be vulnerable and find time to be with yourself, to check in, to reflect. It's a good way to love ourselves, and I think loving ourselves is the way to love each other. I want to remind myself of this more often. It is when I am hard on myself that I am least able to love fully, wholly, warmly.
When I see the pain in others eyes -
caused by me - it makes me cry.
When I take myself too seriously,
I am hard like the stormy sea.
So blow me in the wind
like the seeds of dandelions;
plant me in the earth
where I'll be found
many years from now.
from "Plant Me in the Earth" by Jennifer Levenhagen
Thank you for visiting and reading.
Thank you for following me.
Thank you for following yourself more.
It may be the only way to walk together.
Thanks for visiting!
Contact me any time: info@JenniferLevenhagen.com