Monday, April 22, 2013

To Go Easy

                     - from the Strand Bookstore in NYC

I've been thinking too much lately, 

about the state of the world and how is it that we are still here with so much crazy flailing rage and fear and loss swirling around.

I've been bursting into small and big weeps in a variety of places: 

the grocery store 
the library
at work
in my kitchen
shoveling mulch into my garden
face buried in my big-ear dog's soft head

My friend, Mary, says I'm lucky that I cry. She says most people keep it all stuffed inside and well, that's just crazy-making, she says. And it is. Trying to keep all the world's woes contained inside one body is a health-care issue.  A self-care issue. 

But I do try. 
To keep it stuffed inside. 
It never works. 
Eventually I burst.

bursting is a really good thing

I'm finding much of this being alive, messy and complicated and often really unclear about where I'm headed or what my next step should be. And I'm a little tired, with myself, for trying to force a serenity that can't rise up inside me as long as I'm trying to beat back my shadow(s).

My shadow(s) have an honest take on the world just as much as my soft, soothing yoga mama self does. 

Mantras are good.
Breathing is good. 
So is weeping 
So is gnashing your teeth if it helps you crack open.

I'm back to what I've known all along.

Life is a messy trip. not always, but often.
There is no map, the road appears as you go.
Relationships = people.
People = complicated 

Dad used to say, I'm an ass, you're an ass. 

this is true and very freeing.

Nobody has this nailed down. And that's okay.

Friends help.
Dogs help.
Family helps.
Walking helps.
Writing helps.
Trees help.

- to let you go easy into the world.

Add to the list. ___________ helps...

Thanks to my soul-sister in the Green Mt. State for this beautiful poem by Mary Oliver. Her writing is always a healing balm.

There's another one: poetry helps.

When I am among the trees, 

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust, 
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, 
they give off such hints of gladness, 
I would almost say that they save me, and daily. 
I am so distant from the hope of myself, 
in which I have goodness, and discernment, 
and never hurry through the world 
but walk slowly, and bow often. 
Around me the trees stir in their leaves 
and call out, “Stay awhile.” 
The light flows from their branches. 
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say, 
“and you too have come 
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled 
with light, and to shine.” 

-Mary Oliver

peace be with you.
xo b

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stripped Clean

bulletin board stripped clean ~

Writing is a way of laying your armor down. It's a surrendering to the truth of your mind, the physical sensations of the body, to the present moment. All which will change in the next instant.

Writing shows you all the memories from the past that get carted along from place to place, like the box of old albums that may be worth something but really, they are dust gatherers. Either take the time to discern their worth, or give them away. Toss even. You won't die from this. Instead, a small space of breath opens up.

Beyond the past is the clutter of future visions, stacked neatly in the corner, the adventurous travels, the refreshed romance of a marriage, published books, wads of money in the bank account, the sweet sensation of security. Ah, yes, now I am safe. Now I am secure. When this happens, and that happens. When all the big and little boxes are stacked just so, peace will wash over you.

In the quiet of the upstairs bedroom, cat on lap, cup of morning tea, the chips fall onto the page, past future all calling for my attention pick me pick me while the warm body of my snoring cat is felt through the blanket, a bird squawks, the sky looks like rain, then sun sweeps through the room.

In this moment, 
thanks to black Flair pen 
and small notebook, full up with words,  

I'm remembering how really great it felt to strip the bulletin board near my laundry room. A storm blew through me on a Saturday morning, tossing old business cards, the long written to-do list for the house, postcards from places I love but may never get back to. 

I stripped it clean and got on with my day.

xo b

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Egg of the Phoenix

Change is the constant
the signal for rebirth,
the egg of the phoenix.

- Christina Baldwin

photo by Rob Jackson/ NYC Easter Parade 2013