life, unique, upside down

Unwinding and Unfettering Upside Down

Lily Chang © 2019

I’ve been reading three books, two on any given evening to the kiddos at bedtime:

  • The British version of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,
  • P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, and
  • Dacre Stoker & J.D. Barker’s Dracul.

In Mary Poppins, we recently read and listened to Jane, Michael, and Mary Poppins’ visit to her cousin, Arthur Turvy, aka Mr. Turvy, to fix the Royal Doulton Bowl Jane had cracked while being in a horrible mood.

They happened to visit him at an unique and disturbing time that happens only once a month, on the second Monday between the hours of three and six, where everything seems to go wrong for the guy. He’s upside down, even if he wants to be right-side up, for the duration of that time. This happens without fail, at least according to Mr. Turvy, because his Mother wanted a girl and he turned up instead.

Against her better judgment and wishes, Mary Poppins begrudgingly joins Jane, Michael, and her cousin in flipping over and being upside down.

Miss Tartlet, who works for Mr. Turvy and is described as a round woman, is quite upset by what she sees when she brings a requested item to him. A respectable person should never do such a thing, be upside down. And to have to witness such activity is an abomination.

Against her wishes and beyond her control, she rises and flips over, too. She finds this offensive and despairing.

Then, she begins sweeping a Catherine Wheel. While doing so, Miss Tartlet changes as a person, becomes cheerful and sweet, and decidedly looks forward to future second Mondays.


That got me to wondering, how can we “turn upside down” or “sweep a Catherine Wheel” in our own lives.

Lily Chang © 2019

One example from my life is the journey I’ve taken in writing fiction. Allowing my imagination out to play and sharing with everyone that the world has plenty of dark places — with plenty of pain, betrayal, misunderstandings, manipulation — that drag unsuspecting victims into agonizing despair, has opened my eyes to seeing more colors, beauty, and wonder.

I’ll share some of my more recent instances and experiences here:

Before I do so, I should share a disclaimer. I have not been paid or given anything, monetary or otherwise, to advertise on behalf of any company or business I mention. These are simply personal activities I’m imparting.

Lily Chang © 2019

Pablo’s Coffee isn’t just another coffee shop. It’s eye candy. Pleasing to the eye. And, the place represents so much more: community gathering, craft coffee, local business, art, Denver.

Lily Chang © 2019

This lacewing isn’t just an insect. The butterfly represents transformation and reminds us that our lives involve metamorphoses and changes to become better, more mature, and beautiful. It reminds me of a tiger as well.

Lily Chang © 2019

I took a walk in Hudson Gardens with a good friend. Spring hadn’t spring here, yet the walk was still lovely. The place had plenty to enjoy. Look at the perfect reflection.


Lily Chang © 2019

The kiddos and I, at their requests, have been making calm jars. When shaken up, the glitter falls like snow in a snow globe, except with glittering color trickling down. It’s magical.

As a parent, it’s easy for me to fixate and obsess over practical details, such as the sticky, impossible-to-clean messes that will happen if the bottle or jar breaks or the pricey glitter.

After turning upside down, I’m more focused on the glorious creation it is than the ugliness that might result from breakage.

Lily Chang © 2019

Latte art amazes me. The care taken in gathering just the right ingredients to make coffee exquisite excites me. The skill involved in pouring the contents into the cup so it looks like a work of art floors me. I enjoyed this particular mocha at Aviano Coffee Shop.

Lily Chang © 2019

Isn’t this light fixture amazing? I took it at Purple Door Coffee Shop, where they invest in redeeming people’s lives by training and employing individuals ready to move away from street life.

Lily Chang © 2019

These are my youngest kiddos, twins. Like all parents would attest, especially parents of multiple children, much strife, discord, and fighting will be had on a constant, daily basis. The ongoing bickering, about the littlest of things, can be harrowing, confusing, exhausting, and frustrating. But, at the end of the day, life and love with them is exuberant, life-giving, and wonderful. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Lily Chang © 2019

Three of my kiddos play violin. Last month, two violins needed attention. One went out of tune way too quickly, and I was pretty sure the problem wasn’t weather-related. Another daughter needed to upgrade her violin size.

We’ve purchased our violins through a family-owned and family-operated company, Roberson and Sons Violin Shop, which operates out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not only do they offer well-made, quality violins at reasonable prices, but we can trade-in violins when size upgrades are needed and only pay for shipping and differences in pricing.

They happened to be in our state for a 2-day workshop last month. So, we drove to Boulder, where they had their workshop, so we could save on shipping costs and have them check out our violins.

Two of the three Robertson brothers were there. I was surprised to see they’re excellent artisans and musicians, who are passionate about what they do and the services and products they provide. They took care of our needs quickly and explained any issues or questions in detail. The whole team of people that were present, representing Robertson and Sons Violin Shop, was kind, amazing, and talented. I walked away encouraged. Interacting with them made my day.


Lily Chang © 2019

Two of my kiddos are in the DYAO‘s (Denver Young Artists Orchestra’s) string ensemble this year. Their second performance was in Boettcher Concert Hall, where a lot of big concerts are staged. I marveled at the ceiling and the fact that this the first year of the DYAO’s partnership with the Colorado Symphony. I love that accomplished musicians and a city promoting art are coming alongside budding musicians and artists.

Lily Chang © 2019

These seared scallops from Sushi Den are one of my faves. Fresh scallops cooked perfectly just melt in the mouth. Mouth-water goodness.

Lily Chang © 2019

The gorgeous, vibrant pieces of art taste as good as they look. I cannot imagine the skill, time, perfection, and work involved in creating such succulent chocolates from Temper Chocolates and Confections.

Loving what I see and experience all the time.

I’ve shared some of my stuff.


Now, it’s your turn.

In what ways have you or can you do a somersault or turn upside down? And, how can that or has that changed your life for the better?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s