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


  1. Bets, always always glad to have your constant voice in my life, knowing that the whole serenity thing doesn't always come easily, nor does it always feel right. Messy moments and tear stained cheeks are just as necessary as those deep belly breaths. That poem is going up on my wall, thank you for the gentle reminder "to be filled with light, and to shine." peace be with YOU :)

  2. hey there,
    so glad to see you stopping by.
    yea, that "whole serenity thing" can be a real bitch, honestly.
    so, go easy on this Sunday.
    when in doubt, read.
    xo b