The bending plant…

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I looked out of a window today.  I saw many things.  I saw a small and frail potted plant that sits on pillars outside my front door; it kept bending with each turn of the wind.  I thought how supple its stem was made; allowed for it to be abused back and forth by whatever force pushed up against it.   However harsh, however gentle, it would always give in.  After watching it for some time I realized that no matter how much it swayed and bowed to and fro, that once the air around it grew still and all movement let up, that little stem became erect all over, again and again.  Something so flexible managed to be so strong.  It had strength to adjust itself to its environment, its flexibility permitted change; but it was never fully defeated, it never broke.                     

For myself, could I say that I possess the same resilience as that plant?  Perhaps…perhaps, I’m weaker than I want to be and stronger than I think I am.  I suppose each day will provide its very own answer.  One day, I will give into sadness.  The sun will poke its rays of light through my window blinds saying, “Good morning, I am here to greet you” and I will say, “Go away” and throw the covers over my head.  The next morning I will arise and decide that yesterday was enough time to feel the pain, but a new day awaits and desires a much different experience.  I will draw back all the blinds with a fully exposed invitation for the light to come in and I will scream out into the world, “I am here, good morning”!

 

`good health and high spirits

Maya Angelou

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The world will miss Maya Angelou.  I will miss Maya Angelou.  A woman, although one I’ve never physically met, I have felt connected to in spirit.  Thank you for everything you have taught me through your words.   The ones on paper or those I’ve heard in your interviews in your deep, but light-filled tone.  I will remember the bass in your voice that shook my ears and beat on the door to my heart and forced me to open up to myself and get to know who I really am.  Thank you for inspiration and thank you for your honesty; allowing us to peer into your life and know that there is no road from perfection or one designed to get us there.  We have our choices.  You said, “I created myself”, “I have taught myself so much”.  From you, I learned that I could do the same.  Thank you!

 

‘When Great Trees Fall’—Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”

 

 

`good health and high spirits 

Spiral

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“If your life to you is a straight line, then it is a disaster when things repeatedly show up and a sign that you aren’t getting far.  But if your life is a spiral, circling around the ancient tower, then each time they show up it is a blessing, and a chance to bring your wisdom to bear on living well.”    -Stephen Jenkinson, Griefwalker

 

`good health and high spirits

Gone, but here still…

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Yesterday was a sad day for me.  I wish I could figure out why we think of the things we do when we do.  Is there some greater purpose for it that is suited to teach us something by connecting us to these thoughts or, like many things that cannot be explained, are we forever left to question the things we just will never know?  If we had all of the answers, then we could do as the Staples commercial and use the “easy button” to opt out of everything we’d prefer to live without or cancel ourselves from the situations we’d not like to be involved.  But, who in the hell really gets to do that?!  Obviously, no one so don’t take me for being naïve or delusional.  I understand that, not liking rather appreciating, any discomfort or suffering I may experience affords me the ability to wrap myself around any and all joy that I have in my life.  The intensity of my hurt and my happiness comes from the very same deep place in me.  For as hard as I can cry, I can laugh just as loud.  I just had déjà vu, I feel as if I’ve said that before.  Well, if I’ve said it once, I’m sure I will say it again, if it’s what I feel.  Anyways, I digress; I just wish at times, that things made more sense.  But what good is wishing?  Wishing is wanting or hoping for something because accepting what just “is”, is hard sometimes, even though we have no other choice.

In 1996 someone that I cared about very much, was shot and killed at the age of 18.  As I am writing this, I realize that this year will be 18 years since his death, and his time gone, equals that of his life.  It’s a strange thing, how we calculate time.  Length does not equal value and what it is endured doesn’t equate to quality.  Over the years I’ve thought about him so often because I’ve missed him so much.  I miss what I know of him and I miss all of the things that I didn’t come to know from being his friend longer.  He was such a beautiful soul and like all of the people that I love, I carry him with me every day.  I suppose the life I give to him in my thoughts and in my heart will make him live as long as I do…or anyone else who cares about him, for that matter.

I was sad yesterday and I am still sad today.  If me, being sad, allows me to feel how much I miss him and love him then I invite the sadness.  Through tears I will smile when I think of him.  Deonarine “Andy” Singh, I miss you and I send my love out into the universe and I hope it reaches you!

 

`good health and high spirits  

“It is never too late- in fiction or in life- to revise.” Nancy Thayer

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This morning as I was going through my computer and cleaning out some old files, I came across this email that I had sent to Oprah Winfrey regarding Aha moments.  It was written 3 years ago, but I couldn’t help but feel how relevant the words written, held true for today.  I thought I’d share.

 

To Oprah-

From the most trivial of things, to the biggest of life’s lessons, I have come to certain realizations of what a thought, action, situation or circumstance was supposed to actually mean or be…my Aha moments.  I am with the understanding that if everything was viewed with the utmost comprehension at all times, then, there would be no room allowed for growth and we would miss out on our Aha’s.  The beautiful, organic process of development would be nonexistent.

As I look in my rearview mirror and reflect on what’s behind me, in my most recent awareness, I have come to value time, appreciate family and friends, recognize that I am not guaranteed to go to sleep tonight nor wake in the morning, know that I must do differently in order to help produce different results, and last but not least, I fully grasp that I cannot change anyone other than myself. People may not look at those things as Aha’s; they may think these are things that I or anyone should automatically know or practice, but fully awakening to the last two of those Aha’s play key roles in my moving forward in life. Approximately three years ago I gave birth to my first child.  Everything in my life shifted in way of priority, with my son becoming first.  I will never know how another parent feels about their child, but I will always know the love that I have for mine.  If anything on earth or beyond compares to that, I can’t imagine the power that it holds.  It is far more strong than what’s inside of me, to understand it. 

I am no longer caught in the past, and because I care for someone doesn’t mean I am obligated to live out the consequences to their actions just to prove it.  I’d rather focus on how I would be disappointing myself if I don’t whole heartily follow what I feel is my life’s purpose.  Everyone has to live out the time they have, but we all get a choice on how to spend it.   I choose me!   What a great investment.

 

`good health and high spirits

Skid Row

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It is after midnight and I cannot sleep.  Moments ago I finished watching a documentary called Lost Angels: Skid Row is My Home.  It is filled with a series of interviews by just a handful of the 13,000 people who do call Skid Row their home.  Skid Row is part of an area located in downtown Los Angeles (hence the title Lost Angels) which makes up a fifty block sector.  Many faces get lost in the crowd of poverty, homelessness, addiction, and mental illness, but this is an up close and extremely personal view into the lives of these few captivating individuals.  From an ex Olympian who became addicted to drugs and lost everything, to a woman who tried to check herself into a mental institute as a teenager (only to be rejected and left not knowing what to do with her mind), to a man who studied Psychology and was in Med school prior to choosing life on the streets, these people lend you their stories of how they ended up where they are, and many without remorse, sadness, or regret.  They love their home just as we find comfort within the walls of our own.  Every day, a man named “O.G.” can be found sweeping and cleaning the streets of Skid Row because he can’t stand all of the trash.  Not only himself, but he has convinced and organized a team of volunteers to assist him in his efforts.  This daily task provides him with a huge sense of fulfillment.  I can’t help but feel as if I now have developed a familiarity with strangers, whose names, yesterday, I did not know.  I am in no way glamorizing their rough lives, nor trying to paint a prettier picture of it, neither disregarding the experiences that “come with the territory” of living on the streets.  Horrible things can happen in the streets, but I guess just as easily, horrible things can happen behind the doors that are purposed to be safe. 

 

This movie remains in me and I can’t shake it, not sure if I’m meant to.  I feel deeply haunted.  I attempted to lay down in my bed, but when I closed my eyes, all I could picture were their faces and their voices were all I could hear.  What does that even mean and what am I supposed to do with it?  I am raw…so raw right now.  Bleeding.           

 

`good health and high spirits

Toast to the new one…

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Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

– Dr. Seuss

 

A year is ending and a new one is approaching ever so swiftly.  Take care of those you love and what’s more important, take care of your own heart, spirit, and mind.  You can’t give others what you can’t give yourself.  Show them your love as much and as frequent as possible because what comes after this is only a guess, belief, or intuition, nothing for certain…or absolute.  What you do now is your guarantee of your affections.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  Time is passing; the hands are in perpetual motion forward whether or not we are paying attention to the clock.

 

`good health and high spirits