Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ruin is a Gift

I was visiting Elizabeth Gilbert's facebook page and ran across her explanation of her quote.."ruin is a gift.  Ruin is the road to transformation."  Thought some of you would enjoy reading this too!

Dear Ones -

OK, so I don't usually quote myself on this page, but a reader asked me today if I would take a moment to further explain this idea that ruin can sometimes be a gift in our lives.

*takes a deep breath*...

Let me begin by saying that the ruin I'm talking about here is not something I would encourage anyone to ever deliberately seek. I've seen people who chase darkness and destruction on purpose (sometimes for the glamour of it, sometimes for the romance of it, sometimes for the sheer self-hatred of it) and this is not a path that I am capable of endorsing for anybody.

No, I'm talking about the ruin that happens to you, without you ever seeing it coming. The chaos that sneaks up on you.

Because sometimes the bottom falls out of our lives. People leave us. Precious certainties are yanked away. We lose our health, our money, our gifts, our faith, our familiar surroundings, our trust. All the truths that we thought we could believe in forever suddenly depart us with no warning. The ground that we always knew was solid under our feet turns out to have been nothing but a trap door all along. (And then there's another trap door under that one.) We disappoint ourselves. We are disappointed by others. We get dead lost. We are no longer longer recognizable to ourselves when we look in the mirror. It all falls to ruin.

And that, my friends, is when things start to get really interesting.

This is the chapter of life that Joseph Campbell called "The Dark Night of the Soul" — and it's a necessary step in every hero's journey. It's also the hardest thing in the world. Nobody ever chooses to stand in this place; it just happens to you. And you will often see later that it needed to happen to you, if you were to ever become more than a mere passenger on Earth. Because this dark place is where you must decide whether to die or live. You cannot go back to what you knew, because what you knew is a pile of smoking rubble. You cannot stay where you are, because where you are is a bleak shroud of despair. You can only move forward into the absolute unknown. And the only way to move forward is to change.

Change, to put it simply, is the suck.

Nobody wants to do it — not real change, not soul change, not the painful molecular change required to truly become who you need to be. Nobody ever does real transformation for fun. Nobody ever does it on a dare. You do it only when your back is so far against the wall that you have no choice anymore.

Or, rather, you do have a choice — you can always die. As Sartre said: "Exits are everywhere." But you don't want to die, so you discover that you have no choice except to find a new way to live. Which seems next to impossible, but somehow, if you fight hard enough, isn't. Because you know what else is everywhere? ENTRANCES. The task then becomes to find your entrance — to fight your way through the tunnel, into the dim hope of your own light.

The other day, I asked my dear friend Rayya Elias (who wrote the memoir "Harley Loco" about her years of heroin addiction) if — looking back on the pain and suffering of her life — she could imagine any scenario under which she could have gotten clean and sober earlier. I was imagining that maybe if she'd been sent to the right rehab, or had found a more kindly therapist, or had been told just the right words of encouragement by a wise former junkie, or had been rescued by the right family member...maybe she could have spared herself years of addiction and pain. Rayya's answer initially shocked me, and then made perfect sense. She said: "The only way I could've quit drugs sooner would have been if everyone had abandoned me sooner."

She explained that, as long as she was protected from total ruin by everyone's love and care and support and enabling, she never had to completely face her own darkest place. So she lingered in the murk, hovering just above rock bottom ruin for years, barely getting by on scraps and crumbs. It was only when she had destroyed every relationship, only when everyone had left, only when she had been banished from everyone's homes and lives, only when there was nobody left who would pick up the phone anymore when she called, only when she was dead alone with no money and no good will and no second chances left…it was only then, at the loneliest bottom of her existence, that she could finally hear the question that echoes at us constantly through the universe: "Is this really how you want to live?"

Her answer, to her own surprise, was "No." And when that answer, loud and clear, becomes NO…that's where our transformation always begins.

The changes in your life from that point forward will not be immediate and crisp. They never will be. Transformation isn't easy. It isn't pretty. (Ever watch a bird hatch? It's fucking exhausting.) You don't ascend from that lowest place of your life in a tidy straight line, moving a few inches upward every day. No, it's a messy and jerky and unpredictable trajectory. But it is a trajectory. And the general direction — from the moment of your decision forward — is always going to be UP. Up and out. You will shed whatever (and whomever) you need to shed. You will find whatever (and whomever) you need to find. You will crawl and bawl. Until eventually you are standing, finally, on your own two feet in your own shower of light. Until you are the person you never would have been, had you never met your own worst darkness face-to-face.

And that is the gift that ruin offers us.


Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did! 

Stay well,

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Vintage Clothes Are Coming!

I was over running around in NJ yesterday and stopped in to visit my friend Kim at her Mom Jackie's house!  I met Jackie by accident last Summer when the antique shop that I had my booth in had an open house and I was there running around in a vintage dress.  Jackie spotted me and we had a brief conversation about vintage clothes and at that point she secretly adopted me!  It wasn't until my first show in August that I met my BFF, Jackie's daughter Kim.  Okay so my point is...Jackie has been collecting vintage clothing for a really long time and when ever I go to visit I'm always thrilled when she shows me some of her finds! Yup, that's a picture of her closet below! 

So, I asked Jackie if she wanted me to try selling a few things on Etsy for her...I will just say this, it was hard to pick just a few things.  I figure if things go well, I'll pick out a few more things to sell for her!  If you live local to the Lehigh Valley/ NJ area you can check her booth out at Harvest Star Antiques! 

Sorry, I'm keeping this cute 1950's novelty print skirt for myself.  Isn't it cute!? Yup, Jackie's closet!
Hello cute 50s novelty skirt! I'm keeping you for myself... From Jackie's closet!!

But look at these cute dresses you can buy at DeluxeVille Vintage on Etsy!  Yup, these are from Jackie's closet!!!  Let's hope Jackie's dresses sell fast so I can go back and raid her closet for some more things!!!


If my boobies were smaller I would buy this one...wear it with red keds and a cute denim jacket and ride my vintage bike all over town this Spring.  I got to give the neighborhood something to talk about after all!!Gosh how I love little novelty print cotton dresses!

Be well everyone!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Girls


I want to introduce you to my new gals...DeVe and Dot.  I picked these two amazon ladies up at a local auction yesterday.  Perfect for selling vintage clothing in my Etsy shop!  So, look for clothing coming soon!!!

Dot as you can see has a lot of 1980's attitude!


DeVe on the other hand, is a much more easy going D.G. Williams gal from 1961!



I've already experienced a few freak out moments when I caught a glance of them after forgetting they were there!   They remind me a lot of that Twilight Zone episode with the store mannequins that each get a month to be real.   If only they would come to life and do my dishes for me!    

Be well!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Pain Stops


The Pain Stops: when you stop looking at the person you love as the person you love, and you begin to see them, not as a partner, a lover, or a best friend, but as a human being with the strengths and weaknesses and even the core of a child.

The Pain Stops: when you begin to accept that what you would do in a circumstance is not what they would do, and that no matter how much you try, they have to learn their own lessons, and they have to touch the stove when it's hot, just as you did, to learn that it is much better when it is cold.

The Pain Stops: when your longing for them gets slowly replaced by a desire to get away, when making love to them no longer makes you feel cherished, when you find yourself tired of waiting for the moments where the good will truly outweigh the bad, and when at the end of the day you can't count on their arms for comfort.

The Pain Stops: when you start to look inward and decide whether their presence is a gift or a curse, and whether when you need them, they cause more heartache than bliss.

The Pain Stops: when you realize that you deserve more than they offer and stop blaming them for being less than you wish. When the smile of a stranger seems more inviting and kind, and you remember what it's like to feel beautiful, and you remember how long it has been since your lover whispered something in your ear that only the two of you would know.

The Pain Stops: when you forgive them for their faults and forgive yourself for staying so long. When you know that you tried harder than you ever tried before, and you know in your heart that love should not be so much work.

The Pain Stops: when you start to look in the mirror and like who you see, and know that leaving them or losing them is no reflection of your beauty or your worth.

The Pain Stops: when the promise of a new tomorrow is just enough to start replacing the emptiness in your heart, and you start dreaming again of who you used to be and who you will become.

The Pain Stops: when you say goodbye to what never really was, and accept that somewhere in the fog you may or may not have been loved back. And you promise yourself never again to lay in arms that don't know how to cherish the kindness in your heart.

The Pain Stops: When you are ready.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

This & That

These were the set of lamps that started my love of cool vintage lamps!  Got these way back in 1997!

I'm hoping to be starting some sort of job soon but until then I've had lots of free time to photograph and put stuff in my Etsy shop... ~DeluxeVille Vintage~ I've been collecting crap for a really long time and I'm ready to lighten my load!

All the cats have adjusted very well to being here.  I was mostly concerned about Capt'n Gus and his love of the outside but it seems he's settled into being a spoiled inside cat for the moment.  I do plan on fixing up my yard again so that all the kitties can have some outside time again.  Until then, Gus has taken up an interest in hair styling!  

Captn' Gus .... Love my big fur ball one of the best things I found in NJ... This fella makes me laugh everyday...thanks furry buddy!

The youngest member of my cat herd has discovered the exposed beams and has been performing death defying tricks for me from terrifying heights!

I'm so lucky to have each and every one of these little furry creatures in my life.  Six is a lot of fur flying around but the laughs they give me makes up for all of the hair balls and loud cat chases in the middle of the night.


Until next time!!


Sunday, March 9, 2014


Pain may hurt as much as ever, but as time passes, we can put that pain in context so that suffering no longer dominates our whole life.  We can separate ourselves from our pain, so that well as happiness and every other emotion...becomes merely another vehicle for growth.

Ha! Sun kitties!

I still cry every single day.  Some times it's only a few minutes, some times it's longer.  Grieving a loss is not an easy thing to do, but I believe it's important for healing.   I wish we could turn off love like we turn off a light...there one minute and gone the next.  Instead we must suffer to let our love go.  Can't heal unless you let go.   I plan on healing.  I plan on living a good life.  I must not look to anyone else to make a good life for me; this I must do for myself.  I plan on growing and becoming a stronger more loving and understanding person.  Perhaps even some day, I will be able to forgive.  But first I will surrender to my grief and I will let go of my dreams and my hopes.  I will remind myself that this intense emotional turmoil is temporary and a natural part of recovery.  Feelings aren't facts.  No matter how intense the feelings may be, they are only feelings.  They are reactions to, rather than reflections of, reality.  I will eventually come out of my darkness and find my spot in the sun again.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Beyond words... Cat got my tongue

"God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference." 

Keep the faith
"Honesty is a great gift to give to any relationship, but diplomacy and consideration for the feelings of others and the appropriateness of the situation are also important.  Many of us benefit from learning the value of silence."