Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Study the cycles of Mother Nature, for they correspond with the cycles of your soul's growth. Quiet your mind. Rope in the restlessness. Be here. Learn to labor. Learn to wait.
Learn to wait expectantly.
- Sarah Ban Breathnach
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Jump on/ hop in/everyone is welcome! ...turkeys, turtles, yellow smiley faces, clowns, people who are afraid of clowns. Join. (Someone told me, Betsy, it's kinda hard to figure it out.) If I knew how, I'd tell you. Email the clown (follower #1). He'll talk you through it.
This Being Alive is singing the anthem of, the more, the merrier, so please share us with friends, family, people at work, your plumber. *Arms are wide open here, (except on those days when I'm curled up in the fetal position unable to go buy Cheerios for Claire's breakfast.) But that's, infrequently, right? Or I fake it and write that I'm feeling great. Now you know I'm lying.
As we ease into autumn towards Halloween, and other upcoming holidays (mums the word), how about we get 45 more official followers and make it an even hundred...
Or a hundred and one, like the dalmations.
*read The Neighbors & Arms Wide Open
Monday, September 27, 2010
I took Dad to see his cardiologist this morning. Boy, was that a scene. They put us in a very narrow office with wood paneling, shades of Edgar Allan Poe. I could barely breathe in there. To make matters worse, on the wall was a horrifying poster portraying (in graphic detail), Shingles and Other Common Rashes. One photo in particular, showed a man with lesions all over his face, yikes. People tend to get nervous going to the doctor. Okay, I do. So, why would you put up pictures like that? Why not posters of Provence or Tuscany, or Harrisburg. I'm still trying to shake the image which is why I'm posting this sweet shot of the river.
Rashes, river, rashes, river...
Tick tock; we sat for quite a while in that matchbox of a room.
Thankfully, Dad began making jokes.
"Maybe the assistant is trying to wake the doctor. Doctor, Mr. Jackson is waiting for you, please get up. Bring them a deck of cards, the doctor says. Let them play Parcheesi! I need my sleep."
Dad's good that way.
Don't let things trouble you, he says.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
It's a gray Sunday afternoon, not like yesterday, when we went to the river. Claire swam with Dad, aka Pop Pop. The two of them rolled around in the water like a couple of young otters.
Michael fished the riverbank, turning over rocks for worms. I strolled along the water's edge in search of a smooth river heart- stone. The air was soft and warm, dreamy. Tiny swirling leaves dropped into the water whenever the breeze kicked up.
I always get melancholy this time of year. It sweeps up on me unexpectedly, until I remember, it's September, the season of beginnings and endings/ reds and golds everywhere/ yellow sun dappled trees. All around things are falling, ripening, letting go into something new.
Our river day reminded me of a short piece called "If I Had My Life To Live Over" which I've read at weddings and funerals. It was written by Nadine Stair, an eighty-five year old Kentuckian. She begins:
I'd like to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax. I would limber up. I would take fewer things seriously. I would be sillier than I've been this trip. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers..."
"Are you waiting for me to go in, honey?" Michael asked.
"Yup," I said, "It might be our last swim for the season. You have to."
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall...
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I am holding my old dog, Che; my arms wrapped around his large, furry dog-self. I am crying, so happy, amazed to be hugging him again, so happy to feel his physical body and to smell his fur.
The fish pond has flooded. Water is everywhere, all over the driveway, flowing out into the street. The water is very clear and I am tracking the fish, our fish. They are swimming away, but come back, like dogs, when I call to them.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
until I circled back around, drizzled some water in the dust and whispered, anybody in there?
I moved it to the front hallway, where pale yellow September light drifts in. In a few days, green threads were growing.
It's been a month. Now it's a wild-tendrils-reaching-every-which-way Oxalis (shamrock) plant, practically dancing towards the light. Tiny pink flowers are bursting from the tips.
There will be times when your life might feel like a pot of dirt; dry, dusty, dead. But something full, green and crazy-good is waiting to grow. Trust me. You may not see it right away.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
I've been thinking about practice and happiness and what a nice couple they make, most days. They're dependable, yet surprising. Practice doesn't mean you already know. Nope. That's why it's called practice. Doing the practice invites happiness to show up.
My daily practice is writing. It starts with a notebook, pen(s), and a quiet pocket of time. I don't have a plan. I do watch turkeys and people. I stare out the window frequently. I listen.
Some days my writing leaps right into whiny, fearful worries. But, usually, in the midst of the scribble, or the rubble, a glint of light seeps in. Then comes the shift in my solar plexus; a click, a turn of the key. I step out of the cage. I am released.
Inevitably, small mind hooks and reels me back in. I turn, retreating into my cramped, but familiar cell where the scurrying mind-mice keep busy, gnawing on small bones, infinite worries.
Next day, I begin again; pull out notebook, pen, find quiet pocket of time, write. Even the briefest time brings freedom and opening; it restores me, loosens me, releases me. It’s always the same, never the same.
Write, whittle, whistle, make wine. Pick a practice. Invite happiness. Then share yourself with others. The world needs you.
ps. today is my 201st daily post of This Being Alive. I am grinning from ear to ear. So this is a a grin-out, to you and the turkeys, who just this moment meandered by, no kidding. I love those damn birds. And you! Thanks for letting me share...