Sunday, March 20, 2016

Love Many Things

A dear friend's father was under hospice care last week, then charming, handsome Harold slipped away. That's what people do at the end, slip and slide into the tunnel of light. It's a gentle visual I choose to hold. Loss is such a painful thing but this is where lightness and trust come in. Not lightness as in skipping through a meadow (although that sounds kinda fun), but when I think of lightness - in the face of a dying parent, a brother with cancer, a deep missing - any feeling that tends to ball and chain you down - when I think of lightness it feels like allowing, not resisting. 

Think of allowing everything like holding a yellow chick in the palm of your hands, 

in wonder.

During my Dad's dying week, part of me was repulsed at his labored breathing, the utter frailness of his body, the scent of death in the room. There was a crowd of feelings hovering around. But so were the chatty hospice people. Hello Sunny! putting on a clean pair of socks for his cold feet. 

Curiously, the lighter side of me, the one in wonder, sang songs to Dad.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine let it shine let it shine

One night, Dad was sitting awkwardly on the edge of his bed, holding one knee the way he liked to do, eyes closed. Trust me when I say I so wanted to run, but I stayed. I put my arm around him, sang out Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, (a family favorite) tears washing down my face. 

Dad was still dying, my heart was painfully breaking open, and the thing is, I let it.

break open 

Because that's where the lightness comes through. 

Maybe you're thinking, 

Why the hell is this girl writing about her dying Dad on the first day of spring? 

Show us some flowers and be nice about it. Get with the seasonal program!!!

Here's what I'm getting at.

We are in a constant state of experiencing so many things, every day. 

life death loss joy birth ease struggle love

Vincent Van Gogh said, love many things. 

I know this because I have a little notepad that says so. 

Hold your heart like that little yellow chick, gently. no squeezing. 
Make a list (it's so much fun) of all the 

and things 
you love.

(it'll take more than a little notepad)

Add something about yourself too. 

Gosh, I love my quirky little ways...finally

We are here to love. 

Happy Spring, lovelies!

I love you.

xo b

Sunday, March 6, 2016

not those feelings again!

Ever notice, while folding pillow cases, that you're holding tightly to something? not the pillow case...If your body was a fist, it would be a clenched one? Maybe you've been walking around, even sleeping with this body fistun-aware how tense you are over ~

grief over a loss
an argument with your lover
worry about an ill friend
that extra ten lbs
not knowing what the next step is
deep sadness that Donald Trump was born in the United States

Is he? Can someone check that, please?

Once aware, you decide to keep choking this whatever it is right now feelingbelieving sheer force will make it disappear. You squeeze and clench and grit your teeth until whatever is bothering you has passed out. Once that messy feeling biz is over, you'll peacefully run through a meadow of yellow flowers in a pretty form-fitting sundress.

That's how it works, right? 



making a fist with both hands. 
tight tight tight. 
hold your breath too. 
hold hold hold 
clench clench 
hold hold

then open your mouth
let the air rush out
open fingers like tiny wings
float the palms up + out to your sides
breathe so so slowly

You could argue that this little hand/breathing exercise doesn't solve a thing.


But this experienced (exhausted) problem-solver pledges that a simple hands-open practice creates a path for that which cannot be solved to travel. Grief will not be choked away. A hard position never leads to peace. Worry won't cure cancer. Not knowing and uncertainty is the very mystery of life. 

Mystery won't be wrestled to the ground. 

Open your hands, palms up. 
Float them quietly over your heart. 
Breathe like a sleeping baby. 
Wear a half-smile on your face. 


paths appear
answers come 
love arises

xo b