Category Archives: hard reality

Courage

Life IS good.
God made running for me to settle down and in.

The ocean was wild last night.
The waves leave their morning mark on the dwindling sands.
as my feet leave prints along the edge2013-11-23 07.21.29

my head was wild last night
the full moon was loud
And now this day sun is breaking through louder still.

I pray for strength
as I chant to the mindless sky

 

This is not happening to me
It is this happening for me.

This is not happening to me
It is this happening for me.

courage

the cowardly lion does a little dance

courage.

Gratitude for the Learning

Can you be grateful for the pain?

Can you see, even a little bit, how having this experience is cracking you open?

diamond

I know, looking back it’s a lot easier to see it.  And sometimes that’s all you can do.

I see that breaking up with my husband, wow, now exactly 30 years ago, was one of the most profound shifts, hardest lessons and deepest learnings I have had in my life.

At the time, I was running for my life, and the life of my child. I realized I might physically died if I stayed, and I was terrified to leave. Having an almost 2-year old child in toe, no money and no place to go added a little to the intensity. I chose to leave.

Continue reading

Two Seconds.

Dad’s home from the hospital.

He still says he feels awful, but he looks a million times better. It’s roses and thorns this life. He says he helped his mom go through this, he helped his wife go through this and now it’s his turn. Simple fact, simply stated. People get old, they get frail and then they die, that’s just how it is. I will do the same some day.

I’m fighting against it every third second.

I help Paul and his nephew load the third van full of garge sale collections and stuff from the house. Clearing out, letting go; Just stuff. I go walk around the pond. I look up at the green leaves plastered against the cloudy sky. I feel the soft ground and the tall tall trees. Somehow the fresh air and the lake give me space to let in this moment’s beauty.Screenshot 2014-06-10 22.34.45

I surrender to the beauty of this process for two seconds.

I am here with you now.

the house is pretty clean now.

Well, there’s stuff, but the clutter has been tamed for now.

Darn, now I have to just be. What a terrifying Idea this morning.
breathing in, I am alive, breathing out, you are alive.
breathing in and out, we will both be gone one day
Breathing in and out, I am here with you now.

(This is a Meditation from Thick Nhat Hahn; photo by Philip Van Nostrum)

Screenshot 2014-06-12 08.03.16

Our Feeble Fiber

Dad’s in the hospital. Last night it started, I could tell something wasn’t right. this morning it firetruckbecame all too apparent. Called 911, we loaded him in a big red firetruck and sirened our way to the Providence Hospital during morning rush hour: cruising red lights, breakdown lanes and the wrong side of the street. I’m gripping the sides of the big seat as the big red fire truck bounced it’s way down the pocked streets of RI.

He’s stable now, and everyone comments, for almost 92, he’s in amazing shape. The problem is, they don’t really know what’s going on, and he’s been reacting to the medications they give him. So they are trying this and that, new medicines and IV, more doses and potions, pills and notions.

He is a remarkable man. Joking with the nurses, clear about his situation. Perhaps a little too cool for my female concern. Well, I’m home now. he’s still there. I do sense he’ll make it through all this. For now. I’m acutely aware of my attachment to this man of my origin.

Also, he has been such a pillar of strength and health for so long, it’s blowing my personal immortality dreams to shreds. I was talking to my dad about that yesterday, how I was so sure when I was young I’d live forever…he said yeah, he was like that too; that’s just how youth is. Must be part of some hero’s journey or something; I’m sure Joseph Campbell would have something to say about that. (or maybe you do?)

So much for sipping the Koolaid, I’m getting pretty real out here on the East Coast.
i can feel this: That acknowledging the end sets priorities straight.
As they say, life is a terminal condition. So be it.

Love.

Dad is having a hard time. He’s not in pain, not at the threshold yet (at least I don’t think so), but he’s facing a new level of his mortality. He’s facing into almost 92 years old and he needs help in a life where men don’t ask for help. He’s feeling helpless, scared, and a loss of control, in a life where men men don’t ask for help, don’t feel scared, don’t loose control. His doctor ordered him to use a cane. Dad’s been falling for months now, so stubborn, so proud. Dad’s a wild card slowly becoming sober with years.birdflight

Yes, I’m going back. Back to Rhode Island. Back to the home that my Mom and Dad shared for years. Things have changed now. Mom is gone, Dad’s Dad. I cherish that he is still here. Not sure what’s going to happen, but that’s really how life is all the time, isn’t it (I tell myself)?

It’s just at these critical junctures where decisions need to be made, and life feels so fragile, that I have come to freak out and fall into my prayers. I am not in control here. I am swimming in a sea of the forces beyond my conscious control. Continue reading

the Lotus Fower You Are

Life in upheaval.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Follow your gut.

Breathe.

Be.

I was at a gathering of women the other day. I came away with the utter urgency of following lotusmy knowing. I felt it in the whole circle. Women know. Often in their gut before the heads. Women have the unique challenge and opportunity to feel deeply. And often that feeling can be strong.

I am a women with deep feelings. I am growing into cherishing my juiciness.

I am breathing;
I am alive.
I thank the Goddess and the God for this life.
I breathe.
I feel.
I honor those feelings.
One foot in front of the next.
If you are a woman or a man, I implore you to start the process of validating that feminine part yourself. That part that feels deeply, no matter how ragged. This is important work. Come out of the shame and hiding. No more make pretending so he or she will like you; no more acting ‘pretty’, walking on egg shells, or withholding important tidbits of information to keep the peace.

It is only through owning all those sneaky, dark parts that the full you can bloom.

I’m not saying rant and rage at the world. I’m says own the feelings: I am angry. I am sad. I am feeling…xyz. Acknowledge what you are feeling when you are feeling it, first to yourself; then to others.

Let it be.

Be In the presence of your feelings;

honor them without explanation or apology.

Yep. just like that lovely lotus flower: rooted in the mud, suspended in the waters of consciousness, the flower blooms in the sunshine of our present moment.

Crazy Mama Nature

aarggg.

Dad’s not doing so well. I talk to him. I talk to my brother. I talk to him again. It’s a wait and see game of unknown rules. I’m so far away, I feel so powerless. Looking at the passage we all face some day. Not sure what’s up with Dad, could be soon, or 10 years from now. I choose to be present with myself and my own trembling mortality so I can be present for him to the best of my ability.

I go out into the wild. The hills hold court with my tenderness. As I enter into the trail at the end of the road, a little hummingbird come right up to this bush by my knee, ruby-throated hills behind houseand precious tiny. I climb, I walk, I run ever so little. I follow the trail to a hill I rarely climb.

At the top, I look out on the valley, the ocean, the hills. the clouds are so proud and still, the wind swept the sky, the white capped water, the islands are there in full force, visible, holding the ocean. What a moment.

The mustard has passed but new little yellow flower ignite the trail. I think, next time I’ll bring my phone and take pictures for you guys. It’s so beautiful up here. and it’s almost my back yard. How blessed is this mess I am today.

I have a tangerine in my pocket, I sit to eat it. There’s swarms of ants, big and little ones, all in a flurry, probably because this big ogre is sitting by their holes. I see them frantically going here and there-I know that feeling. A bigger ant starts hauling one of the seeds I have spit out. It’s hard. He stays with it for way longer than he might (-I know that feeling too), then gives up and walks over his seed-mountain, he’s checking it out, searching for something…what? I haven’t a clue. it is literally 10xs bigger than him; how does he even attempt to do that?

I look up to the sky again, there are three hawks circling and one buzzard, they are gracefully playing in the wind that I feel on my face. Perhaps they are waiting for me to die. Well, not this time my friends, but death is a part of this life, I acknowledge that now.

I head back down the trail. I notice another red tail hawk flying 10 yards below me magnificent. I stop again to be with her still soaring. I look down at my feet again and a 2 inch bright green caterpillar, with red and yellow and black markings and a little flag on his butt, comes cruising by my foot. i have to laugh.

Crazy mamma nature, you are out in force this morning.

Thank you, thank you.

If only…

If I only knew then what I know now…

if we only had stayed in touch, that wouldn’t have happened…

He should have paid for the damn dinner…

You shouldn’t say I’m incompetent…

If I had only stopped and asked her about here boyfriend…

She should have done the dishes…

If he only checked the oil…

 

It’s not my fault.Zion

It’s not his or her fault.

It’s not your fault.

It’s not the world’s fault.

 

I offer you a ‘no blame’ option. Continue reading

Pointing Fingers

Maybe you’ve heard, when your point your finger at someone, you’ve got three pointing back are yourself. It’s a great visceral metaphor.
And if you have heard of it, I bet that thought hasn’t occurred to you when you’re actually wagging that finger around…hah!
dancingbabes
Why I was just pointing my proverbial finger at my X, who I haven’t talked to in 4 months. Lots of space for my active imagination to fill in.
I sat down, with a paper and pen and wrote a list of all my judgements, just let it rip.
Then I proceeded to sobered myself up with that simple question, ‘ah… and how am I like that?’ OOOOOOOOoooooo.
After alot of breathing through and revelation, I felt my heart bursting open. Amazing.

You know, we are all mirrors.

If you see it in someone else, guess what?
It’s in you.
Pretty simple.
Pretty profound.
Pretty hard to fess up to some times.
I have found this to be one of the most sobering exercises in the universe, to put it mildly.
Ah, the eternal dance of inside/outside.

So…next time that proverbial finger is wagging in your head, notice the three pointing back, take note, make a list, go down the list and ‘hmmm, how am I like that too?’ See what happens.

I dare you. Tell me how it goes.