Sandbox Writing Challenge – The Door and Beyond

Enticing possibilities  is what Lady Calen gives to us from her wonderful realm, Impromptu Promptlings.  We are asked “What is behind this door that you want?”

Sandbox Door

Forget what’s behind the door. I want the door itself! That’s gorgeous. I love old wooden structures, and the hardware of the doorknob and the intricate carving on it and the plate! And the key which will open it, is surely one (no, make that TWO) of the fabulous old skeleton keys.

So I’m thinking, if I take the door off the hinges, I’ll get a look at what’s behind it, right? Then I can decide if what I thought was in it was worth all the breaking and entering LOL

Okay, so now that’s out of the way. Oddly the first thing I thought of when I imagined something behind the door I might want, was all the food I’m no longer able to eat. Weird, right? I just realized that all of the food that I LOVE is no longer on the available menu in my world.

I think I’m getting tired of having to come up with something I actually hunger for, to cook. Nothing seems to come to mind. Meanwhile, Q can eat whatever he wants. Of course, I have to cook it for him, so maybe, what I’d like to be behind that door is a cook! One to do all the drudgery of planning and making meals, not just for one, but for two people with two very different tastes in cuisine.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Now had I continued reading – a really bad habit I have, unfortunately – I’d have seen in the next part the suggestion:

Imagine having the key.

Geeze, here I was thinking that part two would be next week. Harumph.

What is stopping you from opening the door?

Well, two minutes later, and I’m answering a comment in my blog, and it hits me that what’s stopping me is the goblin mud!

So imagine this:
It’s 1998, and the Berkshires is a great place to spend a week, away from the maddening crowd. On the deep forested trails, I can walk between the various places.

Rowe Trail

This one takes me from the Great House (main meeting hall and dinning room), down through the path which passes Grandmother Tree. I stop and rest my hand on Her gnarled trunk, and give thanks to Her for listening as I pour out my thoughts to Her. The scent in the woods is piney, and the air is warm, yet shaded, and I feel lovely. My mind leisurely meanders between soaking up the sweet ambiance of the campus, and the myriad seminars which have brought me places in my world that are thought provoking, and gives me the opportunity to explore without having to necessarily be anywhere, unless I choose to be there.

Earlier in the morning, of the second day, we gather together as a Great Council, and listen as we’re guided to look into our hearts and think of that which is keeping us back from moving forward on our inner journey. In turn, each of us gets up and walks to the center of the room, kneeling down before two bowls. Instructed, I push my fingers into one, holding a rather large glop of mud. I close my eyes, and feel the way the gooey wet earth gloms onto me, bringing me to the sensation of how something in my life holds me, in a similar fashion from breaking free and doing what I need to do for myself, and my growth. Words begin to form from thoughts of the things which make me feel as stuck in my life, as my hands feel encased by the saturated soil. I hear the words floating out into the room, and sense that I’m not just speaking, but allowing shackles to open and set me free. I feel myself rising up, to full kneeling, and hear myself declaring, “Enough is enough of this goblin mud!” My arms rise, and I hear the sucking of the mud as I wrestle it to get away. Free finally, from it, I plunge my hands into a cool bath of water, and begin to wash the mud from my fingers, and the palm and the back of my hand. A sister hands me a clean towel when I’m finished, and I thankfully dry them. The room is filled with clapping, and encouraging words. As I stand, I walk slowly to a table and collect the special gifts for my medicine bundle. Returning to my seat, I feel sparklingly free.
Standing there, with Grandmother Tree, I have that rare moment of feeling that I could do this for the rest of my life. A week is just never enough.


Thinking that it is the Goblin Mud which keeps me back, I must figure out which part of me is the mud holding hostage. That’s the thing.

And so it goes, on and on.


The Sandbox Writing Challenge #33 – Sustenance

This week’s Sandbox Writing Challenge, coming to us from Lady Calen’s delightful home, Impromptu Promptlings, poses the question, what do you hunger for?

“And we’re not just talking about food here,” Calen explains. “What is there in your life that you feel you need to sustain you, or would help to sustain you — it may just be wishful thinking, but identifying that need is a crucial, pivotal point in our dreams and desires.”

I’m really glad we’re not talking food here, because I have to say that is the last thing I hunger for on any day.

But what do I need to sustain me?

I could take the easy way out, and just put this up:

Though, I wouldn’t go as far as to say:

The second tune no longer describes how I am navigating this human experience.

I thought about it at length. It’s a very serious question. Do I already have it, or is it something for which I continue to seek? I consider the idea of what it is I feel I’m missing, to give me a clue.

Some would think that it’s fairly simple to answer. But I believe this is something which is core, and I’m not always in touch with my core. In fact it is something which I’d do a reading on.

Using the GAIAN APP, I drew four cards.

In the NOW position, I got The Elder of Air


The Elder of Air shows me how to experience communion with the Great Mystery, through worship, praise, or meditation. This is a time for making decisions. Through this Elder, I’m offered the gift of inspiration, balance and clarity.

Initially, as I always do when faced with this Kwai Chang Caine like character, I *sigh deeply* because I know it’s not going to be as simple as a voice whispering in my ear, “Go to the Interstate, Ben Stone.” This is the kind of card one spends time pondering. Reflecting, Contemplating, Meditating on the great inner path questions, is pretty much how I’d define where I am on my Spiritual timeline. It simply reminds me that this great inner journey is what I hunger for… to remain steadfast, and consistent on my path, while accepting the ups and downs of my Earthwalk.

In the HELPFUL ACTIONS position, I drew the Justice (11 Major) card.


I was just saying the other day how, there are cards in my deck which always present a blank slate, as if I’m the one with the answers… DUH, of course! Isn’t that what this is all about. Finding out for myself. It’s about seeking MY way to enlightenment. I do believe each of us has our own specific way.

All of that said, of what, in the world, is Justice telling me with regard to my question about what I hunger for, and more to the point, just what helpful actions does Justice suggest?

Let me tell you about my experience with this lovely little card in all the decks I’ve used thus far. Blank Slate Universe. Sure, Justice represents some of the concrete world answers, but this particular hunger is not about the mundane.

One day, after receiving this card as a theme for the day for what seemed like forever, I get another card which so totally explains what it’s all about, Alfie.


It’s the Five of Earth,

and I finally can see how to connect the dots. It’s about the path I’ve been following for many, many decades, perhaps even lifetimes. It’s the path of respecting, but more precisely, understanding the plight of brother and sister beings; the opposite of how our species has pretty much acted toward the other species with whom we share the planet.

It seems to me, that helpful actions is about keeping on doing what I’ve always done. I’m already there. Have I acted with unfailing integrity in this part of living? I believe yes, and this simply says, ‘atta girl, keep up the good work.’ It’s an affirmation.

In the WHAT TO AVOID position, ACE of Fire showed up.


I frown at this card, because I LOVE it. So much so that it was key in a video I made. Sitting and thinking about what I should avoid here? Perhaps a reversal reading would suit this. Then it makes sense. For instance, I should avoid squelching the creative passionate energy that wants to come forth. Also, to not buy into my fear of change, and stop myself from moving forward, which this year is all about, anyway.

This actually is challenging me to find the courage within to go ahead with my transformation. Could I come out of my shell any further?


In the LIKELY OUTCOME position, was the Seven of Earth.


Okay, now this is more like it! I SO get this card. Here, I have the Seven shining a light directly on my inner work rather than all the outer stuff. The Earth element, while generally referring to life experiences of our continuing growth in daily life, also spotlights that realm within where we begin to live mindfully. The Seven of Earth as likely outcome is that I will more fully Commune with the Green Ones!

You might be thinking, didn’t I already know this? Sure, on the subsconscious level, more than the conscious, since, were I more connected to working at walking my path, I’d have said right off the bat, when asked, What I hunger for, is to live more authentically. It’s been something I’ve been aware I want to do more often, like always. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. Something is a hunger because I’m not getting enough of what it is I hunger for, so I have to be reminded to go eat, already.

*rolls eyes*

The reading points directly that my outcome,  simply speaks more eloquently than my round about, maze-like scramblings:  Setting a goal for myself which involves long-term planning on a practical level (aka, what does my path look like?). But also, understanding that it is better to be content to know that I am working slowly, and steadily toward my goal.

Follow the way of the WHEEL. It’s a Never Ending Story.


The Sandbox Writing Challenged #30 – Drawing A Blank

This was one of the more difficult Sandbox Writing Challenges. Lady Calen of Impromptu Promptlings, asks us this question:

If you were to give this baby something you lacked early in life, what would it be?

Early life… my grandpappy told me about that. No memory of it; don’t forget, that was 60 years ago, assuming that early life covers a five year period. I really have no notion what I had or did not have. Do I feel a sense of lacking from those days? No. I don’t feel a sense of anything. One of my earliest memories is of watching my brother go off to school, and wanting to go too, but being told that I could not. Knowing what I know now about how I felt about school once within the halls of learning, I in retrospect, I should have felt lucky. Of course, that one memory is not actually followed by what experiences I had in grammar school, as much as how I felt about school as I got into the higher grades of Junior High School and High School. Did I like 1st and 2nd and 3rd grade? I don’t know. I met my first heart throb in 3rd grade. I liked that for sure. But the process of learning and the specifics of going to school are very mirky.

I have been told that in those early years, of life in the neighborhood, I and a neighbor girl were apparently always following our older brothers around, who hung out together. Did I feel I lacked the fun and excitement of what the boys were doing? I don’t know. I don’t remember what they may have been doing.

I don’t recall the first time I didn’t like myself. I don’t think I was told I was ugly, the way my mother was when she was a girl. I don’t think I was told I was stupid. I believe we (my brother and I) were encouraged to read, and to be creative. My parents were very creative people. I’d say it goes without saying that we would both then be supported in our creative endevours. And I did find writing at a very young age, to be a way of expressing myself, that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Did I know fear? I can’t imagine a child that didn’t. Maybe I would give that little self the ability to accept life, accept the hand I was dealt. Maybe given that, I would not have grown into a mega-worry wart. I don’t see how a child could even grasp the concept of self-acceptance. But that might be what I needed. I know I did not accept myself as I grew into the pre-teen, then young adolscent years.

That’s all I have.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge #18 – Lost and Found


Sometimes Lady Calen reminds me of Gandalf, or Yoda, a master who hands us a riddle, leaving us wondering, what now? Of course we know she takes her cues from Roberta Allen. So we shall not shoot this most wonderful messenger. Instead, we’ll “dig in” as she says, the words echoing to us from Impromptu Promptlings. This is the Eighteenth Sandbox Writing Challenge.  It is called, “Please have a seat…”

PROMPT: Imagine someone important to you sitting in this chair. What would you say to this person that you’ve NEVER SAID before?


A Chair. Like “The Empty Chair.” But that’s another whole story (by Jeffrey Deaver, in fact). I was picturing a different kind of chair when Calen described what it looked like. Now I see it’s an Adirondack chair. Well, that’s cool.

Walking over, I sit down in it, as I also stand back and watch. I, the sitter, shrink down, as if I’ve become smaller. I’m child size.

Here is something interesting. I look like the Child of Water from my Gaian Tarot deck (by Joanna Powell Colbert):


I know why. I’ve come to see her as myself, when I was small, about her age, when she was banished from the Kingdom of Fim. It wasn’t called that then, but that was a very long time ago, and she’s been missing all these years.

I came to see her as representative of that part of me, that wee me, because when a person banishes a part of themself, they cease, in a major way, to exist. Now I didn’t consciously know this until sometime last year, which was probably 55 to 60 years post banishment. But, as the saying goes, it’s better late than never.

I found this out from a Tarot reading I did for myself. I was doing a reading every morning, last year. There were a rash of readings which kept bringing up the AWAKENING card. This is known in traditional decks as The Major Arcana #20, The Judgement card. I mean this card was dogging me. And it was one of those cards that I often don’t quite get it when I see it. Seriously, folks, I don’t get the concept of judgment. Though, I’m sure a part of me got it.

Well, one morning, the Child of Water showed up in the spread along with the Awakening card. And I got slammed by the actual meaning of it all. I got Maxwell Hammered over the head because that’s exactly what I need to get the message sometimes.

That left me in a weepy heap on the floor, with the realization that The Child of Water represented, and has since become known to me as “Little Girl Lost.” What that translates to is realizing what I’ve done, all these years, to myself. I banished that part of me which I hated. I hated being her because I did not want to be in this body. I didn’t want to be in this body because I felt that it was the source of grief. Maybe, I even knew then, the grief which would be brought to me through this body, that I’d find myself a victim, and while it certainly was true through too much of my life, the abuse would quite often be at my own hand as at the hands of others who would care not for what they’ve done. But the victim often blames themself for it all, and that is just as much, if not more, an abuse as everything else.

Thus, there she sits, Little Girl Lost, innocent, and unaware of her own incarcertion.

There are no explantions for what I did. However, with the knowledge of what I did to her, I can only say, I am truly sorry. The words will mean little, unless I take action in the form of restitution.

I’ll let you know how that goes sometime down the line.

Post Script:

I might have put someone else in that chair, but I would not be able to forgive another, unless I am willing and able to forgive myself, first. I see it as akin to not being able to honestly love others if you cannot truly love yourself.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge – Looking Back

Oh, a test! And I didn’t even study for it. Hope I get a passing grade. 🙂 Calen said we’ve reached  our first REVIEW for The Sandbox Writing Challenge, from her headquarters over at Impromptu Promptlings for which we have a few questions to answer:

1.Did any of your answers surprise you? Why or why not?


The 1st Challenge, about looking at myself in the mirror, and writing about what I like about myself. So, yes, I was surprised by the fact that I like how I look now, better than how I looked at the various stages of my evolution through years. That’s not to say I never liked how I looked. But generally speaking… Oh dear, I’m digressing, and that’s not what I was going to talk about. What surprises me, which I noted, is that I can see my mother in my reflection – sometimes. That is happy making for me.

2.Was there any one exercise that felt more emotionally “charged” than the others? If so you may want to take a few moments and write a bit more about it. But only write until the “energy” runs out.

While ’emotionally’ charged may carry with it a connotation of darker energy, in many instances. Not so for me. The one post which was emotionally charged, and honestly needs no further explantion, was the LOVE IS challenge, which entails the seeking, and finding

“that crazy little thing called love.”

Which started with that age old question, “can anybody find me somebody to love?”

3. Are there exercises that feel incomplete? Go with your energy. Complete those exercises now. You’ll know they are finished when your energy is spent and the exercise feels complete.

I just sat and read through all of my posts from The Sandbox, and I don’t think there was anything I left out, or felt was incomplete in any of them. On the other hand, I usually feel like I’m missing SOMETHING somewhere.

That part of the review is done.

But we’re not finished.

The next part is asking us to share anything we’ve written more about any of them, to share it. You’ll be happy to know, I did not write further.

There’s this odd thing which I feel about writing – yes, I edit, but, it’s always just grammatical, or the like. When I’ve been working on a piece of fiction, and I’ve put it out there, aka published, I find it hard to change anything. Now understand that adding isn’t same as changing, but I think that if it didn’t come to me the first time, it probably wasn’t something I felt would add to what was already written. Yes, going over these posts had some thoughts flashing by, but nothing really forgotten. If I did a Tarot reading about this, I’d pull the ‘hidden factor’ card (from the bottom of the deck). But that would entail doing a whole reading about this. Take my word for it. This is not the time to do that. LSDL.

That leaves me with ‘at the very least,’ option. What did I think about doing these challenges.

Simply said, if I didn’t like doing it, I would not be doing it.

What did I learn about myself?

One thing is that I have stuck with it. That doesn’t mean I’m contradicting what I just said. I think one of my posts (can’t remember which one) I spoke of having this proclivity to not follow through, or finish things. It’s just who I am, having nothing to do with if I like doing something. I have a really difficult time actually following through on almost everything in my life.

So much so, that if it gets past, say, 2pm on any given day, it’s too late to do what I’d planned. It’s not always about being lazy. It’s about, if I didn’t get to it, maybe I wasn’t supposed to do it? But that does bring up some questions about self-care. Why don’t I follow through on the plan for healing myself? Maybe that will be something to look at down the road?

There, something that I hadn’t mentioned… or did I, and just don’t remember? *shrug*

Did they help you open up on your blog?

I think I am pretty open. I don’t know that there isn’t much I haven’t revealed about myself… The whole blogging thing has been instrumental in doing that.

Did you enjoy them, or were they a pain in the butt?

I may complain about having to come up with something to write about in this challenge, but that’s just me enjoying the experience of complaining. I have enjoyed these. I like being challenged – unless it is challenging me in something I don’t want to do. Thus, I do want to do these. It’s time well spent, if you ask me.

The End of Review #1

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