Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

This Little Light of Mine

So there I was, surrounded by indians….

Have you ever had one of those days when you just get off on the wrong foot, and can’t seem to get back in sync with the rest of the world frantically dancing circles around you? Before long, you make the decision that it’s obvious:  you’re just flat incapable of dancing.

So today has been one of those days.  Then I randomly ran across this quote a few minutes ago.  It reminds me of one of my favorite prayers, one I found in a daily meditation book several years ago:  “Dear Lord, Why’d you do that? Oh. Thank you.  Amen”

……then I remembered my light sabre, hidden under the bushel……

 Here’s the quote, enjoy.  Carpe Diem Ya’ll, Michele:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.   Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”   Nelson Mandela


September 30, 2006 Posted by | Best Lines, Episcopalians, Inspiration, Inspirational, Michele's Musings | 1 Comment

Before and After

So I noticed while reading the news today, that Edvard Munch’s paintings The Madonna and The Scream are back on display after being rescued from the bad guys of the underworld art scene.  Which reminds me of the time I visited the tanning salon and tanned wearing nothing but a smiley face sticker strategically placed on my left breast.  Talk about a day of exestential angst.

Assuming I live to be the ripe old age of 88, which I fully intend to do, today marks my first day of being middle aged.  It occured to me while looking at those two paintings that I have a choice about how I’m going to do the next forty-four years. 

It’s my hope that for the next forty-four years, I’ll be a little more comfortable in my own skin.  It’s my hope that when I look in the mirror I see a madonna staring back at me and not that other creature as I’ve been wont to see from time to time, especially on Monday mornings after really great weekends.   Carpe diem ya’ll, Michele

September 28, 2006 Posted by | Michele's Musings | Leave a comment

SSSHHHH Don’t Tell Your Father I’m a Feminist

Think my mother:




Scratch Golfer (in a stylish skirt).

Eve Ultra Light 100’s.\

Ultra Strong Work Ethic.

Avid Reader.

Strongest Female Character I know.

Feminine.  Absolutely.

Feminist?  Not so much. 

At least not in front of my father.


But when he wasn’t looking, she whispered to my sister and I the truths she wanted us to know,


“You can be anything you want to be.”


“You can do anything you want to do.”


“Never depend on a man to do for you what you can do for yourself.”


She didn’t spend a lot of time teaching us to cook, sew and clean, although we did these things together on Saturday mornings with Simon and Garfunkle blairing in the background.  She did teach us to seek and enjoy outdoor activity.  She did teach us to play poker, and dominoes, and how to solve crosswords and logic problems.  And when I flirted with smoking, right after she tried to teach me not to do it, she taught me the proper way a lady held her cigarette just in case I didn’t heed her first good advise.


Above all else, she taught us how to be ‘lady-like’ in all our pursuits.


But perhaps the most important thing she taught us was to enjoy reading without censor.  She read with us introducing us to a plethora of children and young adult selections and allowed us to read whatever caught our fancy, including her books.   She loved to share books, mystery, adventure, sci-fi, horror, biographies, memoirs, true-crime, and every genre and sub-genre of women’s literature out there, with a heavy emphasis on bodice-busting romance novels.


Today in my novel writing class, we talked about the romance novel as subversive and feminist.  I’d never thought of it as such, but when I did, it all of a sudden made sense, my mother’s love affair with the Brandon’s and the Heather’s and the Shanna’s that swash-buckled, sashayed, and throbbed their ways through our lives, sweeping us away from our small town in Texas if even for a couple of stolen hours here and there.  And it all of a sudden made sense, my mother’s zeal to share these character’s and their stories with my sister and I.  In essence, it was just one more way she was teaching my sister and I to be strong female characters.  In essence, it was just one more way she was teaching my sister and I to never let The Man keep us down. 

Sssshhhhh, don’t tell my father. 

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele


Copyright © 2007 Michele Bernard


September 26, 2006 Posted by | Michele's Musings, Novel Writing | 4 Comments

Crash-n-Burn Thursday

When I was a single mom it was known as Crash-n-Burn Thursday.  By Thursday, we’d had all the fun we could take for one week.  It wasn’t so much about what we did, which was order pizza and sit in front of the television with the dumb stares, but more about what we didn’t do.  We didn’t do anything we didn’t feel like doing.  We didn’t go anywhere, we didn’t do chores, we didn’t do paperwork brought home from the office, we didn’t even do homework if we didn’t feel like doing it.  It was an evening of absolute and perfect grace.  And we lived for Thursdays.  If we could just make it till Thursday, all would be right with the world again.

I’m not sure how we picked Thursday, or how Thursday picked us, nevertheless, Thursday became our day to veg out and hang out.  Maybe it was because all the cool television shows came on Thursday:  Knott’s Landing (way back in the day), then later Friends.  Thursday became our day of respite and relaxation.  Everything good seemed to happen on Thursday when we allowed ourselves to catch our breath, and just be in the presence of each other with no expectations and nothing monitoring our time together.

Those lean, tough years are long behind us.  Two out of three kids are grown and gone.  I’m remarried.  We enjoy a wonderfully content, plentiful lifestyle these days.  Thursday means early morning coffee with my friend Kaye.  But not a Thursday passes that I don’t breathe a sigh of relief, smile and remember our Crash-n-Burn Thursday ritual. 

And I still love Thursday.

September 21, 2006 Posted by | Michele's Musings | Leave a comment