NOVEMBER 2017 Blog Posts

MY WORK         10/31/17            11/1/17         M





My Work is ironic

Previously: stamina and discipline

To perform out there, to grow the little self

To impact a small part of my world

Presently, my further mandate

necessitates a firmer hand

To be present to the Inner Voice

To listen in the stillness, for Sophia to speak


This is the time to gather all

To discern when the Call is for out there

To determine when the Inner has demands

To choose the little self to perform her functions

To allow the Larger Self to disclose Her truth


And the practice of wielding flexibility

Integrating the tasks of the little self with the

Wisdom of the Larger Self

And the charges from the Larger self with the

Practicality of the small self.


Holons within Holons, said a wise man.

Nothing is perfect, said another

Life is never boring.

Life is good.



© Susan Alley

All rights reserved


OCTOBER 2017 Blog Posts

DOING NOTHING       10/2/17      10/2/17      .¤ ₳ ฿ ₵ ¢ ₡ ₢ ₠ $ ₫ ৳ ₯ € ƒ ₣ ₲ ₴ ₭ ℳ ₥ ₦ ₧ ₱ ₰ £ ₹ ₨ ₪ ₸ ₮ ₩ ¥ ៛



¤ ₳ ฿ ₵ ¢ ₡ ₢ ₠ $ ₫ ৳ ₯ € ƒ ₣ ₲ ₴ ₭ ℳ ₥ ₦ ₧ ₱ ₰ £ ₹ ₨ ₪ ₸ ₮ ₩ ¥ ៛


So, this is going to qualify as “journal writing”.

You might also think of it as a free-form rant, meaning, I’m not sure where I’m going or if in the end it will hang together; it’s just something I decided to write about.

One of the activities I declined for these next 8 weeks was a discussion group around “The Stories We Tell Ourselves”.  I really wanted to do it, but am realizing that everything on my list is something that I want to do.  That’s not the issue.  The issue is my list is too long.  I can never do everything on my list of want-to-do’s.  So, I didn’t sign up.

However, I do have those stories.  One of my stories is “Too much is never enough”.  Another story is, “It’s not an okay thing to relax or do ‘nothing’ “.Another story is, “If I say I’m going to do something, I should do it – no excuses”.

Now, where is this all going?  As I said at the beginning, I wasn’t sure.

One thing I am sure of is, I did not complete a new mandala this month.  And all of my “stories” are yelling at me.

Wabi Sabi – nothing’s perfect, nothing’s ever finished, nothing lasts forever.

and still, Namaste.



© Susan Alley

All rights reserved


SEPTEMBER 2017 Blog Posts

SECRETS & SURPRISES              9/1/17              8/30/17          M





She never wanted him to know.  Truth be told, she never wanted anyone to know.  It was a dark secret that she had held deep within since as long as she had words to name it.

Her parents knew.  Of course they knew.  They had known her longer than she had really known herself, and they both had been quite clear with her, in word and deed, that they knew and that what was within her was unforgiveable.  With their clarity, she carried her secret as tightly as she possibly could, and as far as she knew, no one else had ever discovered it.

It brought her pain daily, but not as much pain as she imagined she would bear, if anyone actually knew, particularly if he knew.

He was her love.  He had offered her unremitting acceptance over the years.  There were, of course, the usual squabbles about folding towels or having the same things for dinner two nights in a row.  But she thanked the gods daily that he was willing to love her, and thought if he ever found out, that would be quite enough for him to leave her.

Her children loved her, but they were, with good reason – they were kids, involved in their own lives  – and probably never even gave their mother’s insides a glance.

Her friends liked her.  She knew that.  But all of these carings were contingent on they never finding out.

She had reached a point where the pain of this reality was becoming so unbearable, she thought she needed to tell someone, and, while it was scary and formidable, the most likely candidate to tell was him.

They were alone for the evening.  After dinner, she began.  “I have to tell you something.”  She saw the interest and curiosity in his eyes.

It took her much longer than she imagined, what with all her hems and haws and silences, but finally she blurted out the lifelong secret that had tormented her for her whole life.

When she finished, they were both silent for what seemed like an eon.

Finally, he said, “Thank you for telling me this.  I can see this was hard for you.  It took a lot for you to trust me with this.  Now, finally, there’s someone else who knows.”

He continued slowly and carefully:

“I’m feeling sad and angry that you have had to carry this all by yourself for as long as you have.  I’m sorry your parents inflicted that abusive lie on you.

“And the final thing I want to say is, I think I love you more for being brave enough to admit your humanness.  I think I love you more for that.”


copyright © Susan Alley

All rights reserved


DORA THE EXPLORER        8/1/17      8/1/17      M  M  M


When I joined the Choir at our church, someone left me a plastic ring with a picture of Dora on it.  I still have it.

Apparently they saw me as someone who likes to explore new things.  That’s what I took it to mean, because that’s pretty much the kind of person I am.  I like to make my life interesting, so it can be fun to stretch in different directions.

All of that to say, about a month ago, I spent 3-4 hours on You Tube investigating how to use colored pencils.

I had purchased a nice set  of really good colored pencils several years ago, to try with my mandalas.  But when I finished scribbling with them, I decided they weren’t pretty, so I put them away.

Well, I got to thinking about that, and for sure, good old YouTube has an answer to everything.  So I now know how to use them more effectively.  I like them much better.

While I was “learning” about colored pencils, I was introduced to gel pens – colored, matte, sparkly, shiny, glittery, etc.  And black gel pens.  So of course, I had to try those out.

The thing is, there’s more detail to working with these “tools”, as I’m learning to call them.  So I have scaled down my forever Mandalas of 14″ diameter, to some of about 8-9″ diameter.  I also have to use a more colored-pencil-friendly paper.  And, silly as this sounds, I’m learning to be more effective with a compass.

So now, I’m going to introduce you to my smaller Mandalas.  The first is a colored gel pen, the second is a black gel pen, and the third is a colored pencil Mandala.  Just for the fun of it:






Thank you for sharing.

JULY 2017 Blog Posts

BUGSCUFFLE      5/18/17          7/1/17        M





The hard road gave out, a mile outside of Bugscuffle, TN.   Potholes, larger rocks and gravel all the way in.  This would be bad enough in a car, but on a road bike, Lenny’s only option was to walk the bike.  He combined this labor with angry muttering that he would not be keeping this latest newspaper customer – Jamey Lester.

Finally, sweating and swearing, Lenny saw the town appear – or what he assumed was the town of Bugscuffle.  What he actually saw was five small houses, all different colors, and each sorely in need of new paint.

Lenny looked at his pad and located the Lester address.  It was the salmon-colored house, with all the upper windows broken out.  He knew they were broken because there were shards of remaining glass around each of the windows.

Weird.  “Who lives here,” thought Lenny with disgust.  “And why?” he muttered as he grabbed his newspaper bag and approached the front door, a shabby excuse for an entrance.

“I guess I should knock,” he thought, looking from side to side at the first floor windows.  “Although it doesn’t look like anyone’s home.”

When he was close enough to the door, it began to creak open.  Lenny jumped back, not knowing what this Lester guy might be like.  The door opened further, revealing a well-groomed, elderly man.  His hair and beard were cleanly cut and shaved, his white shirt and navy and red polka dot bow tie, gleamingly clean,  his navy/red plaid coat complementing the rest of his attire.

Lenny, open-jawed when the man he assumed was Mr. Lester swept his right hand in toward the house, inviting Lenny to enter.  Lenny wasn’t sure, but oh, well, what the hell.

As Lenny entered, his astonishment grew.  The door closed, revealing a large brick entry opening toward a sizeable living room, richly appointed with leather sofa and loveseat, placed around the flaming fireplace.  The walls were surrounded with floor-to-ceiling wooden bookcases holding a massive numbers of books

Mr. Lester invited him further into the house.  Lenny could see a curved mahogany staircase leading to the second floor, and beyond the staircase, a dining room, the long ornate table set for two people.

“I’ve been waiting for you all afternoon, Lenny.”

Confused and awed, Lenny knew this was only the beginning.  He dropped his bag of papers and sat down in the nearest chair.

Mr. Lester smiled and sat down opposite him.

“What took you so long?”



© Susan Alley

All rights reserved


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