Gems 6.76

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤


Photo by Picmonkey.

“Some people take a lot of light with them when they go, yet seem to leave things brighter nonetheless.”

-Jim Beaver, Life’s → That Way 

Today’s post is dedicated to a beautiful lady named Carole whom we called “LeoLady” on  She left us last month.  We’ve been celebrating her life for three weeks, reading, in her words, about her acts of loving-kindness for her friends, students, and more often than not, “strangers” or “almost strangers” as she called them in one post.  She speaks to my heart.  This is exactly what I want my life to look like when  I am strong enough to do my work all day, every day, and peaceful enough to do it with all the love in my heart.

There will be a new 21-Day “Celebrating LeoLady” in two months beginning on Carole’s birthday (in July) and then once a year on her birthday after that.  All are welcome.  Celebrating LeoLady2.

In case you missed it during our #grief week, if you are grieving during this pandemic and have no way to assemble to mourn; or if you are simply grieving for any reason and you want to find a way to celebrate your loved one and bring their light to everyone you know, I am available to help you.  It is a virtual-only service.  Here’s my Simbi blurb about it:  21 Day Celebration (Memorial). You can supply the story, pix, graphics, and quotes, or you can leave that up to me. I would just need to ask some basic questions and I can help you with the technical aspects of hosting too.  This was the 31st 21-day virtual gathering I’ve hosted since 2015.

I have a lot of experience with grief rituals. I learned how much they helped my children when we lost our little one, Sara, in 1995.  More on that here:   One Woman’s Story.

Rituals are important.  They are doors to a new life, paths to healing, a place of connection, a way to let go, or to never let go but to grow strong enough to hold on.  It is all a very personal journey. In my country alone, we have lost nearly 100,000 people.  That’s 100,000 families that need to mourn.  Yet death and grief and mourning are rarely spoken about.

In the Japanse culture, the nōkanshi prepares the loved one ritualistically for burial. It is an act of deep love and compassion.  The nōkanshi is a stranger to the family, but they prepare and hold this sacred space for the families to mourn.  That is what I am offering in a sense; not a physical space, but a sacred one of gathering nonetheless.

This week, as you’ve probably guessed, features quotes from Jim Beaver’s book, Life’s That Way →.  He is one of my favorite actors and he is a gifted and inspirational writer who tells it like it is.  The book is hard to read because it is about a great struggle, about grief mixed in with the joy. Yet reading it has helped me.  More about that here if you care to read it:  Haiku for You, Mariana.

Anything that helps us remember that we are not walking through life  (“…That Way →”) alone, is a light-filled gem to me and so needed.  I hope you think so too.



under1000skies Newsletter 1.6

I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend. ♡
This week on ¤ ¤

Newsletter 1.6


“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ” –M. Scott Peck


“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
–Mark Twain


“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” –Lucille Ball


“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” –Fred Rogers


“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” –Jean Shinoda Bolen

Moon Songs 50!

In celebration of the 50-year anniversary of the lunar landing, I hope you enjoy this short fictional story about the first Moon Colony Celebration and a family of musicians on the moon.  I wrote this a month after my first granddaughter was born and set it 150 years in the future where Evie, and her granddaughter and namesake, and her great-grandsons are very much a part of the world, and the moon, and having a grand time.

Moon Songs

50! ☼ July 20, 1969-2019 ☼

Evie needs to prepare for the big show on the brand new Moon Colony in three days. She and her jazz-band family have been preparing for this moment for months. But now, her sax reeds are missing. It’s unlikely anyone else in the colony has a baritone sax reed since theirs is the only jazz band in the lineup. All the years of practice, the months and months of auditions just to get here, and it could all be lost, because of a single sax reed.


The Old Snake

In the past two months, I have met two new friends who are sight-impaired.  It has really helped me understand a little about the difficulties and frustrations of living in a world without vision.  One of my friends is a young, talented writer.  I’ve been recording their stories as I have time. I also have been recording and posting some of my old stories and publishing these on Wattpad.  This is a writer’s interactive (free) website my new friend introduced me to recently.  It has a really great way of connecting writers to readers and to each other.  Currently, I’m reading three stories by other writers and leaving comments as time allows. You can comment on individual paragraphs, on the chapter, or you can leave private messages.  The feedback is so welcome.  It’s helping me to be a better writer.  I hope you enjoy this story poem and recording.

This story poem came about after two conversations with two of my wise friends (who don’t know each other), and because of Joseph Campbell. One friend was diagnosed recently with an illness that totally changed her life. We were talking about the grief that goes along with that, and how she was trying to let it all go, all the things she could have been and would never be. My heart went out to her so much, and I really understood. I have some things going on too. Then another very wise friend showed me a funny poem about wrinkles. Then I started thinking about the Joseph Campbell quote, “You must be willing to let go of the life you have planned in order to be ready for the life that is waiting.” Something like that. I started thinking about a snake, shedding skins, and …pop. My old snake was born.


1.6 under1000skies

The music is by me (Niki Flow) and is performed by Carter Parker. The lyrics are found in the poetry collection “Elanthian Love Songs: A Bard’s Tale” by Sara Michele O’Sullivan (former pen name) available on, and 100 percent of all profits go to buying artist packs and supplies for homeless creatives. See our “About” page for more information.

Coming soon (later today),

  • a Gems 1.82 video with the audio of every writer’s quote listed.



Gems 2.57

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤


Photo “Angel” by Niki Flow

#10 in the “Divine Feminine” series.*  In October and November we’ll be featuring quotes about, for and by women.  Inspired by the call with Elle Lunaauthor The Crossroads of Should and Must. See also Aphrodite Emerges on and “#the100dayproject” on Instagram. 

*Our Mother is dying.  We can stop it, but in order to know what we’re up against, we must clear away the intricately-woven cobwebs spun over the past six decades by the 0.001 percent.    Today is the last day to view the full-length film, Before the Flood:  Leonardo DiCaprio and National Geographic

Full Movie available until November 7th



This movie was chilling. I really appreciated the way Leo took us on this journey over two years. I felt like I was learning with him.  What I learned above all is that it will take all of us, really quickly working together, to fix this.