Maui vacation photos from trips over the years: Wild Honey poses with a torch lighter at the lu'au and with her family near the ocean, watching whales in the gorgeous blue water and a mountain view with palm trees. Below is a favorite lei from one of our trips along with heart shaped stones I found on the beach.
I'm writing this blog post with a heavy heart following the devastating fire on the beautiful island of Maui where our family made so many treasured memories. In addition to the horrific loss of human lives, we are mourning the scorching of the 150 year old banyan tree in the heart of the town of Lahaina. In honor of Maui, I've chosen the orchid as the flower of the month. They are used in lei making and are symbols of the Aloha Spirit in Hawaii. I have written a poem about the orchids I encountered on the island of Okinawa that I look forward to sharing when it is published. They are one of my favorite tropical flowers. I am sending lots of love and prayers to everyone impacted by the fire and am making plans for future monetary support, most likely through the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund which is a faith based disaster relief agency. The Holy Innocents Episcopal Church which we visited while in Maui was destroyed in the fire along with other sacred sites and places of worship.
I am excited to celebrate my Solar Return/Birthday next month and am planning to make a special video to share on here. The sun enters the sign of Virgo on August 23. Since Virgo rules the digestive system a nice serenity practice might be to focus on good nutrition which is made easier with all of the fresh produce available now from the garden and from the farmer's markets and grocery stores. Abdominal workouts are also appropriate (crunches and reverse crunches) and any sort of exercise since Virgo rules all things related to physical health.
In writing news, I am thrilled and honored to have received a beautifully written endorsement blurb for my forthcoming book of narrative poems, "In the Grip of Grace" from Doctor Jill McCabe Johnson. She is an author and professor of creative writing at Skagit Valley College in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. I love this line from her blurb - "Mersereau's poems reflect the very essence of MYSTERY"....I had to capitalize mystery as it is one of my favorite words! I'm excited to share her blurb in its entirety when my book becomes available. Jill's book of poems, "Revolutions We'd Hoped We'd Outgrown" was also published by Finishing Line Press in 2017, and she was one of the team of editors who selected "In the Grip of Grace" as a finalist for the 2022 Wandering Aengus Press Book Award. I am so impressed by her many literary awards that you can read about on her website.
I submitted two new poems for feedback from the editors and readers at West Trade Review. The poems are from a new book I'm working on that is based on experiences I've had while traveling. I received excellent feedback and am looking forward to applying the reader suggestions in revising the poems and to sharing them with you when I find "homes" for them in the publishing world.
I had the pleasure of meeting Ricardo Ruiz at the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Conference in Seattle in March and purchased his book of poems there. I have a special affinity for narrative poems, and the poems in his book are all stories of the achievements and struggles of the Mexican migrant workers and their families. These story poems particularly resonate with me as a resident of WA State where we get so many of our agricultural products (think APPLES!) from the Eastern part of the state. The industry relies heavily upon labor provided by migrant workers from Mexico.
The second book I am recommending, "Rest is Resistance" is a wonderful "manifesto" encouraging us all to employ greater amounts of rest in our lives as a means of resisting the harmful impacts of capitalism and the grind culture or hustle culture and its over-emphasis on productivity at all costs. The author is the founder of "The Nap Ministry." She holds a Master of Divinity degree and calls herself "the Nap Bishop." I'll close this blog with a photo of me napping in an unusual place: The seventh hole of the golf course at the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles! I was there watching the USGA Women's Amateur Championship Tournament on August 10 and was very tired from following the players around the course, so I decided to "lay my ass down" as the Nap Bishop recommends right there underneath a lovely sycamore tree and take a rest!
As we enjoy these last days of summer, let's continue to make rest a priority regardless of where we find ourselves! Let's stay wild, stay free, stay serene!
Marianne, aka Wild Honey