Every Minute is a New Day: HELP Publish the Book!

kickstarter helpHelp fund the publishing of Every Minute is a New Day: The Language of Dementia on Kickstarter today. Only a week left to help. We’re halfway to our goal. With your help we can make it by the 22nd of August.

All funds go directly towards the publishing and marketing of the book. Once the book is published 20% of all royalties will go to support Alzheimer’s research and education. Every dollar counts. Tell your friends and coworkers to give $1 or $5, no more than a latte.

Together we can ensure that the people have a positive message about dementia so we can change the conversation, challenge the stigma.

Click here to back Every Minute is a New Day: The Language of Dementia.

Thank you all do much for your ongoing support.

-Amy

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So Long And Thanks For All The Converse

photo 3 (56)A few days ago I received news that my best friend of 23 years had passed away, hopefully peacefully in his sleep. Saying goodbye is the most heart-wrenching thing I’ll ever have to do. I loved him more than a brother, a husband, or a lover. I love him with every fiber of my being.

Let me go back 23 years to when a flamboyant and boisterous man crashed into my life. At first I was terrified of him. I was only 17 and very unsure of very sure people. Patrick was sure of many things: himself, his sexual identity, his spiritual beliefs, his need to push the buttons of unsure people. He pushed all of my buttons, at once. Little by little he became an ever-present force in my life. Always there with words of sarcasm, wisdom, and often words of diabolically truthful nonsense. He made me believe that I too could be this sure.

Life is fleeting, uncertain. He and I spent many hours discussing this very thing. We went through marriages together, divorces together, spiritual awakenings together, and cutting disappointments together. And never did we lose each other. I eventually moved 1100 miles away. But always stayed true to our bond. Just last week we were talking about getting together when I fly home.

He taught me so much about life and love. He taught me that gay men don’t always look like gay men. Or act like gay men. They are just men who love. That love is an inalienable right. He fought for his right to love the way he wanted to love. I learned to be able to accept my worth because of him. He touched many lives in much the same way. His passion for equality gave me strength to fight for equality.

When we went out everyone assumed we were married. But we were better than married, we were/ARE soul mates. Not romantic soul mates, but that deeply connected friendship soul mates. His essence is and always will be a huge part of me. Memories of our 20+ years are flooding my mind. The majority of the strange experiences in my life were with him.

Here are a few of the things we experienced together that were beyond normal:

  • One of his former roommates was beyond disgusting and eccentric. He had this freeze dried zebra head named Smiley. I was trapped in the room with said roommate and the lopsided smile of frozen Smiley. Patrick, being Patrick, made sure I did not escape until I had truly been traumatized by the experience. And every time he wanted to torture me he’d make the “zebra face”.  I don’t know if I’ll ever have a friend who will understand his power to make me run screaming from a room like that of a freeze dried zebra head impersonation.
  • His first date with his ex-husband was at a funeral we attended together. This funeral was for a friend. And every time we’d meet someone new we’d tell the tale of Mary Katherine’s funeral with the tiny sewn pig farm we put in her casket, the pain of being a pal bearer for a 434 lb. woman, and the supernatural way my car stalled when a friend the deceased didn’t like wanted to hitch a ride from us. That marriage lasted for 7 years. And he never truly recovered from it.
  • photo 4 (11)We studied Tibetan Buddhism together. Travelling around the Midwest to different monasteries. Often we would have to be separated during the teachings because having the same random thoughts at the same time made us too giggly for such serious endeavors. Especially that one time we both began singing the same Diana Ross song. And our chant when we were unsure of the Sanskrit words was, “My head is made of cheese.” I think people thought we were terrible Buddhists.
  • There was that time we made out on top of a plate of brownies because who knows why. It was very unsatisfying for both of us and we never made out again. But it made for a great story he liked to tell people when they met me for the first time. I was always the “Brownie Slut.” This was during a time when he and I were High Priestess and High Priest of a coven. Our love of spirituality that communes with the natural world kept us close. It was the core of our relationship. We made each other better people.
  • That time I took him to see Rat Race and he almost had cardiac arrest during the Klaus Barbie scene. He literally fell out of his seat laughing. No one else in the theater got the joke. But Patrick was a WWII aficionado and knew pretty much everything there was to know about the war, the weapons, the planes, everything. We spent many a night eating spaghetti and watching WWII documentaries in his living room.
  • Knowing my love for Frank Zappa, every time he saw anything Zappa related he bought it for me. Well, actually every time he saw something done in poor taste and offensive humor, he bought it for me. I have countless vulgar T-Shirts that he gave me. Most I can’t wear in public.
  • We both independently decided to go to nursing school at the same time. Then suddenly we had another deep bond, our love of being nurses. He was built to be a nurse. His compassion was palpable. He was beyond smart. He could read something and recall it exactly 20 years later. I was always amazed and proud of his accomplishments. Even if he didn’t see how amazing he was.

The outpouring of love I see for him right now is probably something of a shock to him from beyond the veil. He thought himself a loner. Often a loser. But he sprinkled fairy dust on every person he encountered and they were better for it. He was so much more than he gave himself credit for.

photo 1 (15)We made plans, unfulfilled dreams, pondering meanderings. It is my purpose in life to see these things through, for him. Because he couldn’t. And now can’t. I’m still here to carry out every hair-brained idea we ever had. There is so much more I could write. But honestly, this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever put down into words. I will leave it as just this. It is vague and incomplete. He would appreciate that.

I love you and will miss your presence in my life, L. Patrick Foster. But I know you are now free of this Samsara. Go and find enlightenment in the great beyond, in the Summerlands. May your next incarnation be happy and true.

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Every Minute is a New Day: The Language of Dementia

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I would like to thank everyone that has encouraged me to pursue my two passions: nursing and writing. As a result my book Every Minute is a New Day is currently being funded on Kickstarter.

Please take a moment to check it out, tel a friend, tell a neighbor, help fund this book.

www.kickstarter.com/projects/fuzzylizzard/every-minute-is-a-new-day-the-language-of-dementia

Or visit me over at Nursebitterpill.com

Thank you so much,

Amy

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Art of the Lizzard: 80’s State of Mind

80's State of Mind, Watercolor on paper, By Amy Moloney

80’s State of Mind, Watercolor on paper, By Amy Moloney

Practicing faces today. Here is my 80’s babe.

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Art of the Lizzard: Dance Therapy

Titled: Dance Therapy Watercolor on paper By: Amy Moloney

Titled: Dance Therapy
Watercolor on paper
By: Amy Moloney

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Art of the Lizzard: First Light

I’m learning watercolors currently. Loving this medium.

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Titled: First Light, Watercolor on paper By: Amy Moloney

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Real Women

IMG_3210I’m perplexed by the phrase “Real Woman”.

There is no such thing as a fake woman. Every woman is a real woman.

Beautiful women are real. Ugly women are real. Rich women are real. Poor are real. Strong women are real. Weak women are real. Healthy women are real. Sick women are real. Straight women are real. Gay women are real. Trans women are real. American women are real. Afghan women are real. Irish women are real. Czech women are real. Libyan women are real.

Every woman on this Earth is real.

Quit comparing women to other women. We are all real. We all have a unique story that makes us real. Quit tolerating being told you are less than your worth as a woman, as a human. It is not ok to make someone feel fake, unreal. Women should lift each other up. Give each other a hand. Be a sisterhood.

This goes for men too. We are all real. We need to erase lines and barriers that keep us separated from each other. It serves no purpose but to fuel discord and unrest. This world needs less lines and more togetherness.

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Nurses: Unsung Heros

Nurses are supposed to be the unsung heroes providing care, quietly doing whatever is necessary. Nurses have always kept the secrets of our society, keeping level heads in crisis.

One of the biggest secrets is that Alzheimer’s is not tragic all the time. There is laughter, there is love. And I’m tired of being an unsung hero. I want to be a loud, boisterous, unconventional hero that sings terribly and off-key. I want you to hear my voice about Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

If you have Alzheimer’s, you have permission to be happy. If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s you have permission and a right to feel joy. Quit letting society tell us we are unsung. Raise your voice with Nurse Bitterpill in shattering the stigma of Dementia. There will be tragic moments. But the joy can easily outweigh them if you stay open to allowing them in.

I have a plan. I will be making a lot of noise. Make noise with me.

Nurse Bitterpill is in the process of publishing a book, Every Minute is a New Day. It is a long process (longer and more involved than I had anticipated). And an avenue to be vocal on behalf of my beautiful and joyous Alzheimer’s patients. It will not happen instantly. I do not have the luxury of cloistering myself away for six months without distraction to focus fully on writing. I am elbow deep in the real world of dementia every single day. In the trenches making life better for those suffering and have the audacity to be happy about it.

I don’t want to stop at just writing a book. I want to keep raising my voice with film, education, mentorships, and other forms of media to get the word out that we can still smile, laugh, and live after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. With a new business on the horizon, I plan on making everyone hear what I have to say even if means standing on street corners shouting to passersby that people with Alzheimer’s have a right to be happy.

I am not fearless, I am determined. But if we all join together, we will be heard.

photo 2 (23)The launch of the new Kickstarter campaign for Every Minute is a New Day is approaching. Help me raise awareness and remove the tragic stigma of a Dementia diagnosis. Stay tuned for details.

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I Am Artist, I Am Me.

IMG_3419I learned my worth as an artist in helping create art with those who have forgotten how important it is. Alzheimer’s art therapy has been my art therapy. Proving when you create for the sake of creating, magic happens.

I was raised in an atmosphere that considered art an unimportant pursuit. An extra-curricular activity. You get a real job, art is a hobby. That’s not what you do to make money. And what you make isn’t worthy. Even to this day I struggle to find worth in my art, what I create. I have a hard time asking for compensation for what I create. That I only deserve money if it comes from a corporate job with a paycheck and governs my every move.

Why is it that many of us have this perception of ourselves. That we are less worthy because we don’t conform to some corporate mindset. That asking for compensation is offensive to the world of “legitimately employed adults”. I’m getting better at learning to ask. But I’m still not there. Still not comfortable taking money, compensation, barter for what I create with my soul. Partly because I have a hard time letting go of my creations and putting them out in the world for others to enjoy. Even though I get positive feedback from peers and strangers alike.

Whether it be my writing, painting, jewelry-making, or sculpting. What does it mean when being an artist is being a part of your identity? Why do we feel that we need to gather underground and be a subculture rather than main stream culture? Those of us who prefer to do it on our own without seeking recognition from a corporate entity, or societal whole. We are making art for the sake of making art because that’s what feeds our soul. Why is it unreasonable to ask for what we deserve? Which is compensation for our art, our time, our effort, our creations? Why do I feel like a nurse first, artist as an afterthought?

The answer is this: I ask. I ask for what I want. I ask for what I feel I deserve. I scream fromIMG_2365 rooftops that I am an artist and a nurse. And I do not have to feel less worthy of either passions. I can be everything I want to be. As new chapters open in my life, I will embrace the story as it unfolds.

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How to Plant a Yes Garden

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How to plant a Yes Garden:

Step 1: Say yes.

Step 2: Watch things grow.

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Getting Old at the Grocery Store

65044_601837576499418_77006321_nI went to buy a few things today: milk, ice cream, wine, and Prilosec. I didn’t feel old buying these things.

That was until the young girl at the check out looked at my ID and said, “Wow, you don’t look 40.”

Then she went on to read the packaging for the Prilosec, “What does this stuff do?”

Me: “Keeps the wine from giving me heartburn.”

I shook my head and left feeling every bit 40.

 

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The Power of Fear

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This is a message to all those tired of body shamers, victim blamers, squashers of humanity, its nature and idiosyncrasies.

We are all humans. Born with innate Imperfection, striving toward perfection. Born with sin. Sin in this case is imperfection, fallibility. Insert religious morality if you must.

There is nothing wrong with being a feminist, a humanist, a liberal, a republican, an atheist, a devout Christian, Buddhist, black, white, red, or brown. These are labels keeping us separate from our humanity and each other. Labels being tossed around like racial slurs have no real meaning other than to assert perceived power over another.

To shame others for being too comfortable or not comfortable enough in their humanity is a tool to control said humanity by inflicting fear and chaos. There is true evil and true enlightenment. Both sides of the coin contain a piece of the other. To separate light from dark is to cease understanding the light and becoming the dark. Fear is both light and dark. It tells us to be vigilant against predators. It also tells us lies that have no basis in reality. It manipulates our imperfection.

I have felt body shame and victim blame first hand. Mostly at the hands of myself. Being told over and over again that my body wasn’t this, wasn’t that, too much this, and too much that creates not only insecurity but a huge level of self-hatred. My body causes others to have emotions, desires, repulsion, made worse by me, the chief squasher of my humanity.

How do you overcome the persistence of self-hatred? The constant media onslaught of “you’re not beautiful unless you think you’re ugly?”

You ignore the hate. The hate within, the hate without. It’s not enough to ignore and suppress. You must begin to tell yourself stories of love. Not just love, but of absolute joy in your imperfection. Say something like, “Hey you, stretch marks, I think you look like ancient lay lines. That’s cool because ancient gods created you and you’re sacred. Maybe you are a site to be worshipped. A god. Thank you stretch marks, we’re gods!”

My body isn’t an invitation to harm, violate, humiliate. No matter how much or little I am wearing. I do not feel that I “should be grateful” that you desire me in any way. I will not remove or censor your emotions toward my body as long as it remains outwardly respectful and you do not act upon these harmful urges. That is what sets us apart from base animalistic impulses, our ability to recognize and control inappropriate responses to stimuli.

Fear mongering is an old and reliable method of conquering and controlling a population. It is seen in politics, religion, economics, cults, even the telling of historical events. To make us fear ourselves is a powerful tool to keep us from discovering our true power. Which is our humanity. We can not only make decisions based on free will, we can make them on intellect and intuition. Our being is more than physical, we have vast stores of knowledge we don’t even realize within our bodies and minds. Fear keeps us from accessing this power source. To make us fear our own power is the ultimate mind control.

How do you deprogram fear?

One breath at a time.

Do not push fear away and hide it. Look at it in the eye, see its deception. See that is a construct with no form. It is very fragile and can be blown away with the wind if you just wish it. Its only power is the power you give it. If you give it to the wind it cannot find a place to root.

Judging others is how we reveal our inner demons to the world. What we fear internally is what we shame in others. An enlightened mind will recognize that the judgmental thoughts are directed toward the self. The primitive mind will fault others. Words have the power you give them. As an enlightened human you will realize that the words people speak to you are ultimately about themselves. If they are hurtful pray for the pain that person must be in to make such a judgment. Do not hold those words as a determination of your worth. Your worth is determined only by you.

How do you dispel the power in a hurtful word?

By turning that word into a word of power. If words have power, reprogram the words to fuel your core source. Like electricity does not care if you plug in a toaster or a vacuum cleaner, it will always be electricity. So too is the energy of others. If they give it as harmful, accept it and use it as soul food. Words and our reaction to them can make us stronger. Magic is the resourceful use of energy, all energy. Like I said earlier, light and dark are equalizers not polarizers. And using the venom of other people’s opinions as fuel for enlightenment is true magic.

photo 1If you call me any of the following words I will most likely agree with you: artist, weirdo, freak, fat, crazy, feminist, femme fatale, slut, cunt, bitch, prude, whore, go getter, wallflower, independent, needy, empowered, crone, witch, woman, girl, broad, bird, chick, babe, ball buster, vixen, human. It’s true, I am all of these. I am a force of nature. I am everyone and no one.

Next week I turn 40. And that is magic.

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Every Minute is a New Day: 8 MORE DAYS!

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8 more days! Help bring my #Alzheimers book, Every Minute is a New Day to life with love & laughter.

Thank you to everyone who has backed me so far. I love and appreciate every one of you. You are all rock stars. We still have time to spread the word and make my goal.

The book will be published no matter what happens, just on a more limited scope. Please help me make this a global message of love.

Don’t forget that I am a tenacious force of womanhood, I won’t let anything get in the way of my passion. Healing the world one patient at a time is my passion.

Click here to explore or help fund Every Minute is a New Day.

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11 Days! FAQ: Every Minute is a New Day

photoEver since I made the decision to publish the book I’ve been working on for years, life has picked up speed. I am in a constant state of exhilaration, optimism, and sheer terror. I have dreamed of being an author since I was 6 years old. And finally, I’ve found my voice, my passion. Thank you all for being a part of it.

The Kickstarter campaign started out with amazing gusto. Then, Christmas shifted the focus. Now that we are into the new year, I am hoping to pick up steam again. I think I need to address some frequently asked questions in order to do this.

  1. What is Kickstarter?
    1. Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website that helps independent artists, writers, entrepreneurs find financial backing from around the world.
  2. How do I back your project?
    1. Go to the kickstarter website, kickstarter.com/projects/fuzzylizzard/every-minute-is-a-new-day.
    2. Click on the amount you want to contribute to my project (anywhere from $1 – $1000, your choice). There are rewards for every amount contributed. I appreciate anything.
    3. The funds are processed through amazon.com. So you’ll need to enter your amazon info when prompted. YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED UNTIL 1-15-15 at 11pm.
    4. If the project is not fully funded, you will not be charged anything. Nada. Zip.
    5. Feel the good feels that come with supporting an independent author writing about her passion. And possibly changing the world with her message.
  3. What will you do if your Kickstarter campaign is not fully funded?
    1. If the book is not fully funded, I get no money from the campaign. You will not be charged.
    2. The book will happen no matter what.
    3. I have invested my personal savings into securing a basic publishing package. So no matter the outcome of Kickstarter, the book will be published.
    4. The Kickstarter is to secure a global marketing plan with audiobook.
  4. When will the book be ready?
    1. I still have some finishing touches and editing to do.
    2. I anticipate submitting the manuscript for the first editing phase to happen in February or early March.
    3. The book itself will probably not be ready to hit shelves until at least July 2015.
    4. Backers will get a sneak peek at exerts from the book via email.

So much joy has filled my heart since I begun this adventure. I am so grateful for everyone who has supported me either financially or emotionally.

Love and blessings,

Amy

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Update: Every Minute is a New Day

In response to a few questions lately about wanting me to detail the plan for the publishing funds and an attempt to remain transparent in this whole process, here is an outline of my publishing and marketing plan:

  1. Audiobook recording and release to Amazon and then later Audible
  2. Worldwide press release to over 500 media outlets
  3. Large color print ads
    1. New York Times Sunday
    2. Reader’s Digest
  4. Radio and television interviews
  5. Google search terms
  6. Five international book shows:
    1. Frankfort, Germany
    2. London, UK
    3. Guadalajara, Mexico
    4. Beijing, China
    5. United States
  7. Book Return ability to retail outlets buying hard copies of book
  8. 100% Royalties to author
    1. in order to ensure larger portion of proceeds go to Alzheimer’s research
  9. Amazon “look inside” feature.
  10. eBook formatting
  11. Professional editing
  12. Professional cover art
  13. Copyright and registering ISBN

There are more features that I am pursuing in the publishing process. But this is what I am aiming to accomplish with kickstarter funds.

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Every Minute is a New Day: 17 Days Left

“Hope is a force as fragile as it is enduring. Hope and fear are forever entwined, not always on opposite sides of the spectrum. Hope can fuel fear and fear can fuel hope.” -Every Minute is A New Day.

17 days left to help fund the book.

Tell your friends, tell you mom. Let’s make this happen. Be a part of this message of hope.

Click here to help fund the book. As little as the cost of a latte can help.

Happy new year.

Thank you.

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Today or tomorrow, instead of buying a Latte Ginormousa, back my book project, Every Minute is a New Day: The Language of Dementia.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

every minute is a new day

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It’s here.

Hello beautifuls,

It has been a while since I’ve posted. There is a great reason. I have been working on my Alzheimer’s book Every Minute is a New Day. And the Kickstarter is now live and ready to support. Please take a moment and help spread the word, back the project, or do an interpretive dance to say how much you love it. I love you all.

Here is the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fuzzylizzard/every-minute-is-a-new-day

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi.

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Do Not Squander Your Madness On Petty Things Like Reality: The Smile Challenge

photo“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You musn’t lose it.” -Robin Williams

What is life without a little madness? What is there to take so seriously that we lose our sense of curiosity and wonder?

Life has been a bit topsy-turvy as of late. I have begun work on the Nurse Bitterpill book. Which as been more challenging than expected. I have stepped down from a director position to be a nurse again. There have been some medical issues as well. The lesson truly is, people are my passion. Namely, people with Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease. What I love is making my residents happy and fulfilled.

With this passion come my love of madness. Not clinical insanity, per se. But true fun-loving madness that comes from enjoying life to its fullest. A person no matter what their struggle, be it dementia or just a case of the Monday’s deserves to be happy and engaged. I have made it my mission to bring this kind of joy to as many people as I can. To make at least 10 people smile every day.

Working in the world of Alzheimer’s has also given me the gift of never taking something like reality too seriously. I gladly enter the world of make-believe. Their’s or mine. Too much of society is dedicated to squashing out imagination and forcing conformity. Being labeled as eccentric or creative is as good as wearing a scarlet letter damning you for independent thought. I embrace this part of myself and I encourage it in my patients.

I’m proud to be called the Patch Adams of Nurses. And I challenge everyone to do the same. Make it a goal to put a smile on at least 10 faces each day. Tell their stories to another 10 people. And the world will find it’s spark of madness again.

 

 

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Richard Linklater and the Little Monk of Odin Hill

Another episode of Public Dream Journal:

young-buddhist-monkI drove up a steep mountain pass on a dark night until I arrived at an outdoor amphitheater carved into the rock face of the earth. The rotting wooden sign read: Welcome to Lost Odid Hill, You may not return as you arrived.  The theater was empty except for two people: a Tibetan monk child and Richard Linklater.

Monk: What brings you here?

Me: I came to see the performance of the crows.

Rick: I was invited to witness rebirth.

Monk: You did not arrive together?

Me: No, we arrived simultaneously, but not together.

Monk: I see. You both choose rebirth, then?

Me: Does that come with dessert?

Rick: Excuse her, she cannot find enlightenment without first going through a joke.

Me: Enlightenment, I fear, is the joke.

Monk: You think too much, Amy.

Me: That is not the first time a Tibetan monk has told me that.

Silence descended. A man with black raven’s wings took the stage. His shadow extending at least 10 feet above him. He spread his wings then fell to his knees, wrapping his wings around him. A red light from the mountainside fell upon his cocooned form. A single flute played. As his wings spread apart, slowly, a woman’s form emerged. Her skin black and slick, as if made of oiled obsidian. Her eyes cerulean blue with specks of starlight. Her black wings caught the moonlight and infinity pulsated in their expanse.

Rick: Is she rebirth?

Monk: She is creation and destruction.

Me: Does she do parties? I’d hire her for my 40th birthday party.

Monk: Don’t worry she’ll be there. But for now, she has a gift for you.

Me: Why would she have a gift for me?

She flapped her wings once and suddenly she was standing in front of Rick and I. She leaned forward and kissed Rick softly on his third eye. Then she looked at me and wrapped me in her wings. Her skin was cold against my skin. She jumped and we were airborne. She chose a star from the night sky and plucked it from the darkness. She placed the star inside my heart.

She lowered us back to earth where the monk and Rick waited. She reached out and pulled a strand of silver hair from my head and placed it around Rick’s wrist. The silver hair pulsated with the same rhythm as the star in my heart. Then it faded into his skin, leaving a silver circle around his wrist.

Monk: It is time to go now. The lady must return home and you both have many dreams to share before she comes back to renew her gift.

With that, the mountain faded into a rolling sea.

What does it mean?

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