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Salon for the Soul

Cathy Barney

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Salon for the Soul

Salon for the Soul

Cathy Barney

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Salon for the Soul

Latest Episodes

Waiting for the snake

Weekend before last, I trekked east about an hour to reunite with five friends from freshman year in college. We go back a fair bit, you could say. We generally meet every five years and, for this visit, I selected a refurbished 1900s hunting lodge in the Highlands Nature Sanctuary, a part of the Arc of Appalachia, with the mission of reuniting the Appalachian Forest. It's a good, central meeting point because we travel from Cleveland, OH, to Nashville and points between. Lucky for me, Cincinnati is about midway. Highlands is the former Seven Caves attraction, which has been closed to grow the bat population. When we stopped at the former gift shop, now museum, library and guide station, one college friend, the plant pathologist for the State of Tennessee, carried on quite a conversation about the white mold that's diminished bats. Fortunately, the attendant said, it hadn't reach Highlands; another reason the walkways, electricity and tourist traffic were removed from the caves. Thi...

--2014 SEP 30
Comments
Waiting for the snake

My new companion

Confession: [I seem to do that a lot here] I have a thing for mannequins that I think stems from an incident as a young adult – and I blame my mother. She and I were downtown Cincinnati walking across the Pogue's bridge between the store and parking garage. That should give you a clue as to how long ago it was. Of the three or four major department stores in town when I grew up, Pogue's was the smaller and more upscale of them. It closed in the 1980s. I digress. As we were tromping over the street on the enclosed bridge, I looked down into onto the street and a dumpster full of precious treasure: full-body, lime green, flocked female mannequins. Stiff limbs outstretched as if awaiting rescue. Patient to find a good home. MY home. Someone had actually thrown them out. No matter how much I bargained, I could not convince my mother to help me retrieve them, let along finagle them into the trunk. "All you'd have to do is hoist me," I pleaded. Wasn't like it was illegal or anything, but...

--2014 SEP 26
Comments
My new companion

Dancing in with a new partner

HOO-ray, today is the FIRST day of fall, the autumnal equinox, and my absolute, hands-down, favorite season for a myriad of reasons – not all explainable. I was married this time of year (we'll soon be celebrating 28) and my oldest, Autumn, was born Oct. 1. I didn't mind that she was 10 days late, arriving in what I consider the best month. "You can make it until then," I internally chanted. The sky was different this morning: cold-weather cloudy with a cast of filmy mystery foreshadowing the most playful of holidays. Late afternoon as I perch on my back porch (it's much too beautiful to be indoors, where I sat all day in a productive meeting), a cloudless cerulean slate permeates a just-arrived crispness. Its crunch infuses the September air. The crickets are deep in conversation and a stray cicada adds dissonance. I could linger here ... now that my allergies have settled. The march from summer to fall takes a personal toll on anyone residing in the Cincinnati dust bowl. These tr...

--2014 SEP 23
Comments
Dancing in with a new partner

Putting my Rosie on

Our freshman corridor portraitLogging into my computer, I am reminded of them and that time. My password is my nickname (oops, now everyone knows) Rosie, earned back then. College can be a precious time. Mine was and I look ahead to my high schoolers and hope the same for them. In a few hours I will be on my way to our every-five years' reunion that began when we all turned 40. We stayed very connected beyond graduation, attended each other's weddings and began to drift after long-term men and children arrived. Ox College, now Oxford Community Arts CenterThe seven of us, plus a few more, were randomly thrown together freshman year in a very old dormitory at the far edge of campus removed from the more-modern quads. At first glance, it seemed like a catastrophe – a recipe for loneliness and isolation. Turned out it was anything but. Now, we all feel privileged that we had the opportunity to live in such a beautiful, unique building complete with parquet-floored ballroom, auditorium,...

--2014 SEP 19
Comments
Putting my Rosie on

Selling not sullying spirituality

Yesterday, I finally assimilated the mass of information I inhaled at an author marketing conference held in Cleveland last Monday. It was an incredibly dynamic every-minute-packed event that excited me from the moment I serendipitously encountered an announcement for it. Author Marketing Live authormarketinglive.comkept its promise, even if we were somewhat overwhelmed. From an early-morning get together, through two talks during lunch and an after-conference social-networking time, there was little time to decompress. Which is why I chose to drive home right after. The four hours of silence gave me time to ground myself and begin to mull over what had just transpired. Plenty. As an introvert, I am not a huge networker, but I am going to learn to be, thanks to Author Marketing Live. Several speakers helped me understand that it is not a nasty, sleazy, pushy business. Merely, as an artist, there is a time to remove the beret and confidently transform your art (mostly in the artist's...

--2014 SEP 16
Comments
Selling not sullying spirituality

Finding the way without forgetting

How ironic that I attended a writing conference, which stressed regular writing time, in Cleveland on Monday and haven't found space to blog all week. And, last post, I wrote about craving routine and its value. I haven't found it this week. Not with work, life or spirituality. I've been running and crashing, running and crashing. Typically, I plan for more balance; time off after projects, traveling and late nights. I never was one who could burn the candle at both ends – my body simply won't let me. It's all been deep, rich work, but at such a fevered pace and not of my creation. Bookends: from glitzy hotel to packing my studio Monday was a killer conference packed full of marketing know-how for authors. Exactly what I had hoped it would be. I drove up Sunday afternoon and spent the evening and overnight with a wonderful friend from freshman year at Miami U. I loved getting to know her in her house and with her likable spouse. Her girls are away at college. I even got to visit he...

--2014 SEP 16
Comments
Finding the way without forgetting

God at the margins

Iconfess, I always put off going because I know it's not a quick drop off or visit. But Wednesday morning for some reason, Spirit let me know to go. Ostensibly, I was dropping off donated clothes (thanks to a wonderful and thoughtful friend), but needed to speak to Jasmine. Her partner answered the door, grateful for the sporty clothing with tangling tags. "What would we do without you, Miss Cathy?" he said. "Hey, they're not from me; I'm just delivering them." "Jasmine's awake if you want to see her." I did. He hustled off to get her an iced mocha from McDonald's, her favorite Curled in her bed, as I often find her, her spirit brightened and lightened the more we talked. Her eyes beamed, her skin glistened, her hair shone and her once-limp arms wildly gestured. This is Jasmine's refuge I have come to learn. At the foot of her bed, at one point, I felt shivers up and down my body, signaling sacred Truth in what she was telling me. On the surface she looks the farthest place from sac...

--2014 SEP 5
Comments
God at the margins

Lean love

Who am I? How often do you ask yourself that question? On some level, I think I am constantly seeking the answer. I don't want a reflection of who I am, I want the Truth, the naked Truth. Today's answer isn't so very pretty. It's one of the rare days I can't shake the blues of chronic pain and one more symptom to handle. Vertigo has decided it's time to call again on top of all of my other house guests: poor sleep, stuffy nose, headache, sinus pressure, neck ache, shoulder and hip pain, tight jaw, and constipation. I have a daily regimen of supplements, netti-pot, exercise and food intolerances to handle. I am grateful that they have worked all summer. Until the hammer of stress came crashing down as it does periodically on all of us. And I kept pushing through. That mess of annoyances is about all that I can see. My pattern is to retreat, where it takes less energy to survive until symptoms recede. But I don't think that's the healthiest route. It seems one of the patterns I need t...

--2014 SEP 5
Comments
Lean love

Journey to nowhere

Earlier this week, I felt somewhat unglued and ready for a routine. Getting kids back to school in different weeks, with one attending evening college classes as a high-school junior and shy of her driver's license, there's been a lot of chauffeuring or, rather, being chauffeured. Then labor day, a day off and a weekend of 14th-birthday celebrations for the youngest. Summer retreated with a bang. It was a great season initiated by an incredible family trip to Europe. So slinking off to school and work routines is not, exactly, exciting. Yet necessary. I crave more-focused work, balance and rhythm. The busyness has caused me to let go of a regular spiritual practice, even weekly worship twice, and my daily gym visits. It's like skipping medication. For one day, I'd like to just wake up to the day and head onward, no swim, sinus care, supplement taking or gluten-free lunch packing. Just once. And not have to experience repercussions. Yes, I know that I am whining. Tuesday, I, dutifull...

--2014 SEP 5
Comments
Journey to nowhere

Stolen heart

This morning as Lily turns 14Lily turns 14 today. In fact, she already has ... at 1:47 a.m., to be exact. She bounced into the world rather quickly (7 hours compared to 29 with my first – I have a theory about birth experience/length and how it relates to later behavior) and mostly without the assistance of the physician, who ran in to catch her. The nurses, Lily and I did all of the work. That day and her fragility seem so far away. I do remember rocking on a yoga ball to ease the pain, that I took the epidural after careful consultation with theanaesthetistto ensure it would not re-injure a spinal wound and, 45 minutes later without breaking much of a sweat, this sweet thing was here! She was a gorgeous, jolly baby always looking for a cue from her beloved older sister. She hasn't changed much. Except when she and I do battle, which has decreased and taught us each something from the other. No one has ever gotten under my skin the way she does. She irks me to no end, but also sho...

--2014 SEP 4
Comments
Stolen heart

Latest Episodes

Waiting for the snake

Weekend before last, I trekked east about an hour to reunite with five friends from freshman year in college. We go back a fair bit, you could say. We generally meet every five years and, for this visit, I selected a refurbished 1900s hunting lodge in the Highlands Nature Sanctuary, a part of the Arc of Appalachia, with the mission of reuniting the Appalachian Forest. It's a good, central meeting point because we travel from Cleveland, OH, to Nashville and points between. Lucky for me, Cincinnati is about midway. Highlands is the former Seven Caves attraction, which has been closed to grow the bat population. When we stopped at the former gift shop, now museum, library and guide station, one college friend, the plant pathologist for the State of Tennessee, carried on quite a conversation about the white mold that's diminished bats. Fortunately, the attendant said, it hadn't reach Highlands; another reason the walkways, electricity and tourist traffic were removed from the caves. Thi...

--2014 SEP 30
Comments
Waiting for the snake

My new companion

Confession: [I seem to do that a lot here] I have a thing for mannequins that I think stems from an incident as a young adult – and I blame my mother. She and I were downtown Cincinnati walking across the Pogue's bridge between the store and parking garage. That should give you a clue as to how long ago it was. Of the three or four major department stores in town when I grew up, Pogue's was the smaller and more upscale of them. It closed in the 1980s. I digress. As we were tromping over the street on the enclosed bridge, I looked down into onto the street and a dumpster full of precious treasure: full-body, lime green, flocked female mannequins. Stiff limbs outstretched as if awaiting rescue. Patient to find a good home. MY home. Someone had actually thrown them out. No matter how much I bargained, I could not convince my mother to help me retrieve them, let along finagle them into the trunk. "All you'd have to do is hoist me," I pleaded. Wasn't like it was illegal or anything, but...

--2014 SEP 26
Comments
My new companion

Dancing in with a new partner

HOO-ray, today is the FIRST day of fall, the autumnal equinox, and my absolute, hands-down, favorite season for a myriad of reasons – not all explainable. I was married this time of year (we'll soon be celebrating 28) and my oldest, Autumn, was born Oct. 1. I didn't mind that she was 10 days late, arriving in what I consider the best month. "You can make it until then," I internally chanted. The sky was different this morning: cold-weather cloudy with a cast of filmy mystery foreshadowing the most playful of holidays. Late afternoon as I perch on my back porch (it's much too beautiful to be indoors, where I sat all day in a productive meeting), a cloudless cerulean slate permeates a just-arrived crispness. Its crunch infuses the September air. The crickets are deep in conversation and a stray cicada adds dissonance. I could linger here ... now that my allergies have settled. The march from summer to fall takes a personal toll on anyone residing in the Cincinnati dust bowl. These tr...

--2014 SEP 23
Comments
Dancing in with a new partner

Putting my Rosie on

Our freshman corridor portraitLogging into my computer, I am reminded of them and that time. My password is my nickname (oops, now everyone knows) Rosie, earned back then. College can be a precious time. Mine was and I look ahead to my high schoolers and hope the same for them. In a few hours I will be on my way to our every-five years' reunion that began when we all turned 40. We stayed very connected beyond graduation, attended each other's weddings and began to drift after long-term men and children arrived. Ox College, now Oxford Community Arts CenterThe seven of us, plus a few more, were randomly thrown together freshman year in a very old dormitory at the far edge of campus removed from the more-modern quads. At first glance, it seemed like a catastrophe – a recipe for loneliness and isolation. Turned out it was anything but. Now, we all feel privileged that we had the opportunity to live in such a beautiful, unique building complete with parquet-floored ballroom, auditorium,...

--2014 SEP 19
Comments
Putting my Rosie on

Selling not sullying spirituality

Yesterday, I finally assimilated the mass of information I inhaled at an author marketing conference held in Cleveland last Monday. It was an incredibly dynamic every-minute-packed event that excited me from the moment I serendipitously encountered an announcement for it. Author Marketing Live authormarketinglive.comkept its promise, even if we were somewhat overwhelmed. From an early-morning get together, through two talks during lunch and an after-conference social-networking time, there was little time to decompress. Which is why I chose to drive home right after. The four hours of silence gave me time to ground myself and begin to mull over what had just transpired. Plenty. As an introvert, I am not a huge networker, but I am going to learn to be, thanks to Author Marketing Live. Several speakers helped me understand that it is not a nasty, sleazy, pushy business. Merely, as an artist, there is a time to remove the beret and confidently transform your art (mostly in the artist's...

--2014 SEP 16
Comments
Selling not sullying spirituality

Finding the way without forgetting

How ironic that I attended a writing conference, which stressed regular writing time, in Cleveland on Monday and haven't found space to blog all week. And, last post, I wrote about craving routine and its value. I haven't found it this week. Not with work, life or spirituality. I've been running and crashing, running and crashing. Typically, I plan for more balance; time off after projects, traveling and late nights. I never was one who could burn the candle at both ends – my body simply won't let me. It's all been deep, rich work, but at such a fevered pace and not of my creation. Bookends: from glitzy hotel to packing my studio Monday was a killer conference packed full of marketing know-how for authors. Exactly what I had hoped it would be. I drove up Sunday afternoon and spent the evening and overnight with a wonderful friend from freshman year at Miami U. I loved getting to know her in her house and with her likable spouse. Her girls are away at college. I even got to visit he...

--2014 SEP 16
Comments
Finding the way without forgetting

God at the margins

Iconfess, I always put off going because I know it's not a quick drop off or visit. But Wednesday morning for some reason, Spirit let me know to go. Ostensibly, I was dropping off donated clothes (thanks to a wonderful and thoughtful friend), but needed to speak to Jasmine. Her partner answered the door, grateful for the sporty clothing with tangling tags. "What would we do without you, Miss Cathy?" he said. "Hey, they're not from me; I'm just delivering them." "Jasmine's awake if you want to see her." I did. He hustled off to get her an iced mocha from McDonald's, her favorite Curled in her bed, as I often find her, her spirit brightened and lightened the more we talked. Her eyes beamed, her skin glistened, her hair shone and her once-limp arms wildly gestured. This is Jasmine's refuge I have come to learn. At the foot of her bed, at one point, I felt shivers up and down my body, signaling sacred Truth in what she was telling me. On the surface she looks the farthest place from sac...

--2014 SEP 5
Comments
God at the margins

Lean love

Who am I? How often do you ask yourself that question? On some level, I think I am constantly seeking the answer. I don't want a reflection of who I am, I want the Truth, the naked Truth. Today's answer isn't so very pretty. It's one of the rare days I can't shake the blues of chronic pain and one more symptom to handle. Vertigo has decided it's time to call again on top of all of my other house guests: poor sleep, stuffy nose, headache, sinus pressure, neck ache, shoulder and hip pain, tight jaw, and constipation. I have a daily regimen of supplements, netti-pot, exercise and food intolerances to handle. I am grateful that they have worked all summer. Until the hammer of stress came crashing down as it does periodically on all of us. And I kept pushing through. That mess of annoyances is about all that I can see. My pattern is to retreat, where it takes less energy to survive until symptoms recede. But I don't think that's the healthiest route. It seems one of the patterns I need t...

--2014 SEP 5
Comments
Lean love

Journey to nowhere

Earlier this week, I felt somewhat unglued and ready for a routine. Getting kids back to school in different weeks, with one attending evening college classes as a high-school junior and shy of her driver's license, there's been a lot of chauffeuring or, rather, being chauffeured. Then labor day, a day off and a weekend of 14th-birthday celebrations for the youngest. Summer retreated with a bang. It was a great season initiated by an incredible family trip to Europe. So slinking off to school and work routines is not, exactly, exciting. Yet necessary. I crave more-focused work, balance and rhythm. The busyness has caused me to let go of a regular spiritual practice, even weekly worship twice, and my daily gym visits. It's like skipping medication. For one day, I'd like to just wake up to the day and head onward, no swim, sinus care, supplement taking or gluten-free lunch packing. Just once. And not have to experience repercussions. Yes, I know that I am whining. Tuesday, I, dutifull...

--2014 SEP 5
Comments
Journey to nowhere

Stolen heart

This morning as Lily turns 14Lily turns 14 today. In fact, she already has ... at 1:47 a.m., to be exact. She bounced into the world rather quickly (7 hours compared to 29 with my first – I have a theory about birth experience/length and how it relates to later behavior) and mostly without the assistance of the physician, who ran in to catch her. The nurses, Lily and I did all of the work. That day and her fragility seem so far away. I do remember rocking on a yoga ball to ease the pain, that I took the epidural after careful consultation with theanaesthetistto ensure it would not re-injure a spinal wound and, 45 minutes later without breaking much of a sweat, this sweet thing was here! She was a gorgeous, jolly baby always looking for a cue from her beloved older sister. She hasn't changed much. Except when she and I do battle, which has decreased and taught us each something from the other. No one has ever gotten under my skin the way she does. She irks me to no end, but also sho...

--2014 SEP 4
Comments
Stolen heart
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