Ah hell. Who said life was supposed to resemble a perfectly pressed square of finely woven Japanese brocade made only of the finest spun silk? Certainly no intelligent philosopher I’ve read and yet I’ve pressed and ironed and added new threads, the best I had at the time, and kept the tension of the warp threads and the weft threads as even as possible. And I’ve stretched it and squished it and dyed it and boiled it and scrubbed it and, yes, I’ve even tried removing a few rows. You laugh because you know how true it is.

Now the shape of my fabric resembles nothing but me. How sweet is that? A lumpy here, smooth there, colorful, multi-textured, unusual piece of life, ironically just like all the other unique quilts of life, for which I thank God. Isn’t she brilliant?

It’s interesting how all of our beautifully unusual pieces of life come together in the big quilt–overlapping here, blending beautifully there, bunching up in places, sometimes stretching to meet, sometimes barely touching, sometimes shrinking away.

Why do we shrink away? William P. Young, in The Shack, writes: “Pain has a way of keeping us from feeling loved—and if left unresolved too long, can leave us forgetting that we were created to be loved in the first place.”*

More on that later…

Love you.

*This sentence is in the notes I took while reading the book, which I gave to a dear friend, and may not be exactly how Mr. Young wrote it. You can find it on page 97 in the 2007 version.

I suppose we are all looking for something, like the characters in The Wizard of Oz. Maybe not as earnestly…or maybe. Each on our own journey separate yet together. You know, that soul dance, bumping up against each other, taking nourishment and delight or offense, seeking what we need, even when incognizant. Our amazing souls create perfect situations for us to meet our needs, even when it doesn’t seem so.

What am I looking for? It isn’t as obvious as the lion looking for courage, the very thing already within. Or is it? If others, those beautiful souls journeying with me, serve as mirrors, are they simply showing me something I already possess?

Oh.

Damn.

So…an unmet need might be a bit more humbling than something like needing to feel heard or respected. Maybe it’s to see how I  pretend everything’s okay when it isn’t; how I justify to have what I think I want; how I minimize disrespectful behavior of others and defend them to maintain peace or status quo; how I stuff my feelings for the same reason.

Breathe.

Love you.

Veteran’s Day. I’m reminded of family and my dear friend Slim who was always old from my then young eyes.

Slim who drove a cat in the woods well into his 70’s and gave me packaged cookies and coffee after school in a special mug with my name on it…even after he said the cookies were giving me a double chin.

Slim who “chaperoned” me to out of town sports games. God forgive me … and thank you for putting such a special man in my path, even if only for a little while.

Slim who sat quietly while we, the women, drank coffee and worked the daily jumble.

Slim who ate the open faced peanut butter sandwiches I made for him at lunch, smothered with real maple syrup just the way he liked it.

Slim who gave me beer when I was old enough and gave me away when I married my high school sweetheart in a beautiful dress with pearls and lace that my mother made for me.

Slim who sat for hours in the yard pulling weeds out of the grass after they took his drivers license away. Maybe he was remembering his experience of storming Normandy that he shared with me once. Or stories of blowing up bridges as part of his role in an elite special services group that only accepted disposable men–men who had no family; stories he never shared with me; stories I’ll never know.

Slim who unknowingly gave me sorrow when he didn’t know who I was the last time I saw him.

Slim who wasn’t family, but was my grandpa. I salute you, your soul, wherever you may be.

Love you.

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If something “rings true” where did the knowing come from? 

From the awesome network of electricity, sound, light, or something else, constantly shimmying and sashaying from one body to another–intentionally and inadvertently–in and out, through and between, striking chords and pushing buttons, depositing ideas and turning on light bulbs?

Where ever knowing comes from, to me it is an elegant dance of souls. Souls simply communicating in accordance with the mystery of existence…

Which reminds me of a wonderful piece by Ray Lynch: What to remember to be happy.

Love you.

Facing remnants of the past, those pieces of life that seem to refuse to functionally decompose and continue influencing present experiences, I think of proponents of attending to the present moment: Eckhart Tolle, Ram Das, Ganjagi, Pema Chodron and other Buddhist leaders, friends, even myself just a few blogs ago. Just be in the moment and know that all is well.

Well, aware of those roots laying at my feet, under the soil of wanting all to be well, I am reminded of the importance of learning from the experience…to go back to the beginning and retrace the path to here…to see the opportunity in the situations.

If each adventure holds soul expanding lessons, which I didn’t see at the time, I can, like the salmon completing its cycle by returning to the beginning, go back and feel for what I missed.

Oh…

…stubborn resistance to the truth of the situations.

It’s so easy to deny the truth when it isn’t what I want to hear.

Love you.

In a funk today. Not the wonderful groovy nature of funk music. That would delight my spirit. No. This is the in between here and there funk–a disconnection within and without.

When things pop up in front of me, for me to say yes or no to, and I say yes then later wonder about the rightness of my involvement, I question you because I trust your guidance and I think you will put in front of me those things that will “work” and flow smoothly, easily. And I remember being described as a hummingbird, here to taste all the flowers.

Bittersweetness causes pause.

A pause between here and there to digest the yeses. To reconnect heart and mind in a space impervious to the passion of others; supported to choose to stand authentically in the fire of your soul.

The bittersweet pause is soul’s nudge to remember your own fire.

Love you.

Life. To live it or not to live it? This question swirls in the emergency rooms and depression halls in numbers too high to count.

What influences anyone to reach the point of wanting to give up…to either literally die by suicide or to live without living, like the walking dead?

Oh.

Yeah, I’ve been there. In both places actually. As I think of it an endless stream of theories rush in. As good as they may be, theories serve very well to give me an answer that will soothe my mind for today, like telling a child just enough to answer a question without causing confusion.

But I want to know the truth of it. Is there one? A truth about the spirit dying within? Burning out? Turning the flame down so low that few, if any, can see it?

Perceiving that one is alone kills the spirit. Community gone Individual. One for one. Lost is “all for one and one for all.”

I suppose many things can create that perception…a different experience for each. I could blame the competitive nature of our society, the walled off hearts of the wounded and disappointed, the prideful and the martyrs…and the list goes on. Blame, though, cannot reconnect the lost spirit, the lonely or the scared to humanity.

Only we can do that. Not “I” nor you, nor him nor her, only “we.” Only “we are in this together.” Life is not something one can live alone.

Yeah.
Love you.

Riding the waves of uncertainty

I cannot see past the tip of my nose, yet I follow the scent of ancient mating rituals as if something deep inside me believes something’s missing. With my mind speaking otherwise, I am propelled by this unknowable and familiar urge and I remember all the trails once followed that ended…sometimes in suffocation, sometimes in relief, sometimes in heartbreak…all in perfect completion.

Such is life.

I know. Perhaps I am simply  like a tiger chasing my own tail for the pure bliss of it, unaware of the idea of “something missing,” knowing there is no end, no real destination, no happily ever after…

only uncertainty…

and experience .

Love you.

Teased into consciousness

by ordinary

expressions of strangers,

gestures of new lovers,

 

old pride,

gatekeeper of

shadows of the past

and of the father,

 

stands ready,

swords drawn,

protecting the

door to the heart.

June 2017
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