Beyond the blankness in your eyes
Within the fading breath,
There lingers recognition
And love for those you’ve left

For souls recall and souls hold true
The memories of yore,
When words you spoke held meaning
And arms held those adored

But without rhyme or reason
Disease with cunning stealth,
Stole your mind’s abundance
And robbed you of your health

And now they’re standing vigil
Those faces lacking names,
Spouse and children, siblings
O’er what of you remains

The ones you raised and ones you praised
And made a difference for,
Will weep at losing you again
This time forevermore

But souls recall and souls hold true
And souls will carry on,
For with your last breath taken
You’ll know each single one

And rising from your prison dwelled
Your burdens dropped with ease,
You’ll whisper, “I remember,
And my love will never leave.”

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, November 10, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number forty-four of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Anne Nygård

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Cindy Miller – The Girlfriend Takeaway

Talk about motivating! Cindy Miller, former LPGA player turned speaker/coach, inspires people to take another shot. She has, in fact, been coined the master of mulligans, and Lord knows we could all use the occasional redo.

Cindy’s inspiration for taking another shot didn’t stem from an innate determined spirit, although she definitely possesses one of those. It came from others telling her she wasn’t good enough. She calls these folks, “The Committee of They,” and she believes the only thing they’re good for is pushing us to improve.

“I think a lot of people have doubt, apprehension, and fear, but what if things could get better? It’s never too late. You just have to make the decision.”

She’s also tired of people pointing out the bad stuff. Her advice on finding a great coach, be that for the game of golf or life in general, is this:

“I think people need to be very cautious. You’ve gotta interview the person. Are they really going to give you solutions, or are they just going to tell you everything you’re doing wrong? Show me how to do it right!”

Once you know how to do it right, and you’ve adjusted your mindset, you can be unstoppable.

“I don’t care how good you are. If you choose to get better, you can do that.”

She’s been there. She knows. Told many times that she wasn’t good enough, she proved her committee wrong, both on the golf course and off. A veteran of five U.S. Women’s Opens, she’s been named to the Top 50 Women Teachers in America list by Golf Digest Magazine, making it obvious that she’s learned to do things right.

Sharing her own stories of accomplishment really brought weight to our discussion during her interview, leaving me with a genuine sense of possibility. Like everyone else, there are times when I become frustrated and feel like giving up, but I’m now going to carry this 5 star quote of Cindy’s with me into all future adversities (whether real or perceived):

“Embracing the privilege of pressure brings courage and more consistent results.”

Wow. It doesn’t get much better than that. Words to live by, for sure.

Privilege comes in many forms. Spending 30 minutes in conversation with this outstanding woman definitely classifies for me.

Check out Cindy’s interview on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE.

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It creeps across a threshold dim
To find those unsuspect,
With stealth and cunning unsurpassed
A thief of self-respect

With hands of smoke and fingers cold
It chokes the voice of purpose,
Forcing silent questions back
To thoughts it renders cursed

For whence is sun and whence is light
And whence a God of wonder,
Now rarely found and rarely seen
As doubt becomes the stronger

In blackness shroud and deep despair
Directionless and still,
A soul retreats and hides from harm
With heart devoid of will

A prayer may lift though gag of lip
And simplified in word,
That somewhere in this fucking void
Encouragement be heard

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, November 3, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number forty-three of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Sydney Sims

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A walk alone through mist and moor
She took with lack of reason,
Drawn by forces unexplained
And disregard for season

Anxious grew and anxious knew
As each step took her further,
Into the depths she dreaded most
Where past robs all of future

But pull it did and pull it had
To steal all sense of meaning,
Taking heart and taking soul
Devouring hopes and dreamings

And with each foot afore the next
A morphing would begin,
From young and vibrant, full of life
To crooked, bent, and thin

Alas the path would render her
She cared no more for love or life
Or those she once had cradled

I mourned the loss of who she was
Long before she left us,
Now hearing subtle laughter’s cry
Resisting urge for smugness

And pray I do for all who writhe
In grips of harsh affliction,
That light lead out of mist and moor
And free them from addiction

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, October 27, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number forty-two of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Andrei Lazarev

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Debra Rapoport – The Girlfriend Takeaway

You can call her Debra Debris or Residue Rapoport, but you can never call her boring.

Debra Rapoport is what I call a master creative. Encouraged by her mother at the age of three to play dress-up, she has literally never stopped. Now, in her seventies, she continues to push the envelope on full expression of self, while showcasing the joy of true authenticity.

Debra got her MA at UC Berkley and taught Personal Costume Design and Personal Adornment for many years at UC Davis. The structure of academia, however, didn’t agree with her.

“Hand to mouth is better than 9 to 5,” she explained, with conviction. “You create a life, not a living.”

She fell in love with found items and surplus materials in grad school, and the relationship continues to blossom.

“I walk down the street, and I see things. I can’t walk by without picking them up. We have a dialogue, become friends. We create something together.”

You think that sounds frivolous? Absurd? Don’t mistake what she does for either. Debora’s work can be found in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and The Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia, just to name a few. She makes, sells, and wears unique and beautiful pieces made from everything from toilet paper rolls to paper towels (she prefers Viva). She also teaches workshops, and I’m hell-bent on attending one (it’s now at the top of my bucket list).

In 2014, her unique brand of expression led to a starring role in Ari Seth Cohen’s documentary Advanced Style that’s a must see on Amazon Prime. She also graces the pages of Ari’s book of the same name and shares the stage with him in an Advanced Style TEDx.

When I look at pictures of Debra Rapoport, I see a woman who is beyond self-aware. What I see is self-actualized, and it obviously appeals to those who continue their own quest. She has tens of thousands of followers on Instagram alone.

“You become a magnet, because you are yourself. Your truth comes through, and things just come your way. You just meet people, you get phone calls, you get emails.”

It’s not just about her style, although that’s a big part of who she is. It’s also about her personality and willingness to connect. She’s an open book who loves to be read, and she has the power to unwittingly turn you into a page-turner, purely by example.

I did make the mistake of asking about her fashion sense, and she quickly set me straight.

“I don’t call it fashion, because I’m not a shopper, and I’m not a trend follower. I call it personal style. I can’t remember the last time I bought anything new. I don’t want to support the fashion industry. It’s the second largest polluter, and I don’t believe in it.”

Expression, creativity, and sustainability? Debra for President!!

Honestly, I admire this woman so much. I teasingly mentioned that I want to be her when I grow up, but that’s not far from the truth. During our brief conversation, I felt myself expanding concepts and possibilities. I now want to make things purely in the pursuit of joy.

Debra says it best: “Joy is from spirit; pleasure isn’t lasting”

You can hear my interview with Debra on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE.

And don’t forget to follow her on Instagram! The inspiration is endless.

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or #debradebris
TEDx with Ari Seth Cohen
Advanced Style Documentary Trailer

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