Saturday, August 25, 2007
this is a quick test of the emergency blogger system...my computer is doing it's tantrum-in-the-grocery store routine, and i haven't been able to post. so i did what any mom would do - i ignored it for a while, and here we all are! WArning - my cap locks still have a mind of their own, so i apologize in advance if it seems like i'm shouting - i'm just not going to be bedeviled by backspacing and re-writing. honestly, technology. so recent developments in my surprise 50th birthday party have gotten me thinking about being selfish. that is - selfish vs. Self-ish. selfcentered vs. Self-centered. selfishness being the preening, mirror-gazing, not-sharing-your toys...or your Self. Self-ish being somewhat the opposite. to me, being Self-ish means to know your Self. your inner Self - your spirit, your soul, your mind. and in that comfortable, wonderful, confidence, there is freedom. freedom to express your Self. without fear of what others may think of you...freedom to just be you...your certainness about your journey, your path, your motives and decisions. and isn't that expression a way of sharing your Self? to be afraid to let ones art see the light of day, or beautifully crafted words such as my angel-friend's - now there would be the shame. fortunately the confidence born of knowing their Selves has brought beautiful works out to shine. confidence is not a brash clanging bell of a thing. it's a quiet assurance of who you are. it's knowing that you have a place in the world, and have a right to claim that place. it's knowing that you may be different from the one standing next to you, but that difference is just fine. you are you. and for a reason. arrogance is often mistaken for confidence, but i think arrogance is a smoke-and-mirror show for a great lack of confidence - a lack of knowing your Self....to curl your lip at others and look down your nose really reflects on your own lacking. why must some find joy in the weakness of others? to feel stronger? how sad. but once again i'm off track. so as i approach 50, i realize that i am Self-ish! but also a bit selfish. and maybe a morsel of childish. i'm not happy about it, but i may have struck a nerve with myself on this one. see, i have mentally planned this surprise birthday party for myself. word leaked out that something was already in the works, and i should "back off and enjoy the ride." this only set my wild imaginings to wilder imaginings. i have a list of guests posted on the 'fridge that i update constantly. people who are special to me. people i want to be with to celebrate this milestone. some may not realize how special they are to me - maybe we know each other through a mutual friend and met only once or twice, but their spirit spoke to mine and they remain an inspiration to me. other guests are sure not to be available, but, like the Dalai Lama & Ty Pennington, each is special for different reasons. i don't imagine a great schedule clearing for either of them, but hey, it's my party, ok! so back to my point - and there really is one! in my imaginings, i picture a wonderful room - warm, inviting, artful, spirit-ful. some jazz music, some of my brother's cool stuff that even I don't always get, good food - finger food & munchies, a great cake, flowers & candles, think evening wedding reception without all the pomp and garter-throwing...it's all about the ambience. my list only has about 40 people on it. not 1 person on it is invited because "i have to." all are dear to me in some way. well, here's where the struggle comes in. it came to my attention that the party being planned is from someone who does not know my Self. i know few details - actually just one detail - the setting. the rest can be imagined based on this 1 fact. i was filled with all kinds of silent, selfish drama when i discovered this. do i "sit back" and be grateful that the day would be remembered and marked at all? or do i intercede - gently (somehow) - and try to steer things in the direction i want it to go? as i talked to a friend about it, i sounded like a spoiled little child, and that made me sad for myself. on one hand, this year in particular has been such an amazing year for me. unexplainable, despite thousands of typed words. i want to honor the year, pay homage to the people and things that have brought such growth and enlightenment to me, in me. on the other hand....did i grow so much? is my selfishness on this point an indicator? now, i don't feel like it was all a sham. not at all. but i feel like i should have come a bit further. or have i? is accepting "less" a hallmark of Self-ishness? i expect the very best from myself in all situations every time and every where. not perfection - just my best. that "best" may vary on given days and given circumstances....but i expect myself to give the best that i am able to give at that moment. would the potential of hurting someone's feelings be worse than being able to mark this day, this year, in the way i'd like to see it done? would that be my best? i am reminded of Verushka Salt..."I want an oompa loompa too daddy!" stomp stomp. but how often do you turn 50? and how often is it that you can point to an entire year and say, "wow!" not the best year as far as smooth sailing - too many days to mark on a calendar with solemn remembrance. but the best year i have ever had in becoming Self-centered. ever. so the teeter-totter goes back and forth. and really, over quite a silly thing, given all the truly big troubles out there. i mean, floods and devastation have destroyed lives, changed entire cities and families.....and i'm having a throw-down about A BIRTHDAY PARTY. and a surprise one, at that! but...but....so what to do? last night i had a dream about a party at the Glenloch restaurant....dark, candlelit, wonderful, my friend Jen dancing on a table - as she is wont to do, and everyone brought me a kitten as a gift. where that part came from, who knows? i'm allergic and surely don't need another pet, but there you have it. and i woke up thinking that with all i could be dreaming about, THIS was the best i could do?? (well, the part with Jen was pretty funny. i've never know anyone with that much courage. scary courage). so maybe the year has already marked itself upon my heart. upon my spirit. and has taken up residence in my bones. and is a part of me. and is me. and maybe that was the important part. not the cake. not the room. maybe i've already been given the best gift of all by the Planner of All Birthdays...my Self. and that is good enough for me. hope all your days are Birth days. L. NOTE: it's not my birthday yet....i'll let you know....i got a few well-wishes after the Birthday Cake Rodeo post. no presents though!
at 7:43 PM
Monday, August 20, 2007
sunday morning...diva dog is at grandma's...it's early and crispy. i put on a tshirt, sweatshirt and windjacket - mostly for the large velcro pocket in front to hold keys, phone and cigarettes. time for diva's favorite walk, but just me. it's about 40 minutes - across the street and onto the path, then head around the pond/lake and into the woods. birds call, squirrels chirp and fuss. nuts hit me in the head as i walk under the tree canopy. my mind is restless. i feel slightly grouchy and out of sorts. who knows why? i want to know the source of my dis-ease. i start to ruminate, then realize that is the wrong path entirely. focusing on the the dis-ease will only perpetuate it. so i smile, and begin to look carefully at the abundance around me, and give gratefullness that i am able to share in it. i ask, "who will walk with me?" and wait to sense a presence or a gentle nudge in my heart from a beloved. a minute later, i spy a butterfly on the path...obviously hurt and trying to make it to the grass. i put my finger down for it to crawl on, with the intention of being a taxi for it. instead, it crawls up my hand and onto my sleeve. it's just magnificent! when it's wings are oulled tight together, it has the markings of a monarch, but the colors are slightly off....a two-fer - my "nikita sign" is a monarch, and this is the same "trickester" butterfly i was just reading about somewhere. when it opens it's wings flat, oh, the majesty! a black heart forms - half on 1 side of the body, half on the other. around this are small white squares that form a link around the heart. beneath that, the most amazing green/blue opalescent color i've ever seen. the butterfly is nicknamed "trickster" because it mimicks the monarch colors, and predators leave it alone. the monarch being a nasty, bitter meal for butterfly eaters. so, my walk buddy will be nikita, and my thoughts go back to ideas i started about doing an art piece about the coyote/trickster. the coyote is known as the trickster in Native American culture. haven't researched enough why, but it is. i wait a few minutes for the butterfly to gather it's wits and fly, but nothing doing. it crawls further up my sleeve. since it's wing has a chunk out of it near the bottom, i know it won't be flying anytime soon, and won't make the migration, which should be going on now. so i start walking again, figuring any minute we'll say goodbye. as i walk, the butterfly crawls down and perches on my finger, it's legs wrapped tight. it faces the front to see where we're headed, then turns and faces me. it's antennae wave a bit, every so often, and stroke my finger. then it turns back. when we get to a patch of sun, it spreads it's wings flat to pull in some warmth to it's body. i pause while he tans a bit. then on. 45 minutes later, i am almost home,and can't wait to show aunt debbie my new amazing friend. she'll "get it." she's amazing all on her own - very spiritual, Native American heritage, Feng Shui Master, artist, and very together. about 5 mins from the house, my butterfly starts walking up and down my finger, so i stop. he turns and faces me, opens and closes his wings a few times, and with a final wave, flies up into the tree. he could fly the whole time! he just wanted to walk with me. so now i knew that sunday was to be magical. i went home and called debbie...in the middle of the conversation she yells, "oh my God! Stevie Nicks is on tv and i think she was wearing your cape!" SHUT UP! so we sit breathing on the phone waiting for another glimpse, but no. we said goodbyes, and i picked up the paper to check...yes, i admit, the bride section. i also check the obits, since i have a better chance (at this age) of finding a familiar name there. nothing and nothing. ok. so i feel like i need to go somewhere - but where. The Pottery Fair leaps out at me from the STARS magazine. oh yeah! art AND nature all in one. i am so there. i guilt the husband into going, so i won't feel like i deserted him and we head out on the most perfect day. one of the first things i see is a bowl that i must own in my lifetime. my throat tightens, as tears fill my eyes - the colors sing to me....peach, blue, pink...which is strange, since i tend to be drawn to more earthy greens and rust. i look closer, and it's part of a series called Trickster! ah HA! again trickster! someone has put a tag in it that belongs to another bowl, and it says $22 instead of $220. i must find the artist...this can't be so. i look - Oh My God! this magnificent piece is made by an artist that my angel-friend Georgia JUST told me she wanted me to meet! hmm. twilight zone music, please. so i hunt her down, and the second i introduce myself, there is an instant connection. unexplainable. but palpable. she starts making all these words about loving the box i made for Georgia and blah blah blah. i'm blown a-way. tears form again in my eyes. hair stands up on my arms. i feel so validated and flattered and any good thing you could imagine. the creator of my bowl loves my work! yikes! we talk of a project upcoming and other things, but the energy is unreal. this is an Important Moment. my gut says this is the start of Something. but more like the continuation of something started ages ago and once again here. she has to go work at a booth, and we regretfully go our own ways for the time being. as i turn to go find my husband, i see an old friend from radio. we get chatting a bit, and i meet his wife. after all these years, i finally meet her! she is wonderful! grounded, warm, personable. she is earth. i like her a lot. he and i talk briefly about how we enjoyed working together, and he mentions how he feels like it was a missed opportunity for the station that they let me slip through their fingers. the 4 of us walk down the big hill to our cars, and i have a sense that the Weaver of All Things has been making a cloth that day, to be continued. threads of this and that being warped and wefted in....past and future being blended...things about to be, and things that were, that may be yet again. who knows? but the peace that had eluded me hours before had settled into my bones again - a sure sign of Magic. and if all of that wasn't enough, a free Harry Potter book was bestowed upon me...Potter at the Pottery Fair! Magic and more magic. so hit me over the head with it, just in case i'm not clear on the point! i am truly, immensely humbled every single minute in every single fiber of my being. i feel like i'm radiating good things. as the seasons have begun to change, so i sense a change in things to come. was it just last week that humidity and heat were pushing at my bones, challenging me to walk across the parking lot? and now, a snip to the air. fast fast are the changes. and so the feeling in my spirit - that changes will be coming fast. good things. like, tugging- on- a- parent's- hand -'cause -you- promised- we'd- go- to- the- circus fast. the urging to move to the next level, tempered by patience to wait for the path to become clear. what an exciting time. what an absolutely wonderful moment in my time. no, it hasn't been all cherries and peas....i've had some moments lately where i'd just as soon sleep the day away, or just felt so incredibly ordinary that i wonder who made the art that sits on my bookshelf. but i remember the Promise and smile. and feel truly blessed all over again. hey - thanks for reading. thanks for (hopefully) not thinking i'm incredibly self-absorbed. it's just all so new. so fresh. so very very chocolate. L
at 9:17 PM
Sunday, August 12, 2007
i've been trying to figure out a way to write the un-writeable. i thought if i sat down and started plinking away at the keyboard, the words would come. but i was mistaken. the things that have stirred in my spirit, in my soul, the past year continue to transform my life, my path, my self. imagine your best day...you feel great, people respond to you overwhelmingly wonderfully, you get that parking space up close, AND you find/win a chunk of money. now multiply that by 10...by 100...or by infinity. that is how things have been going. and it isn't that the circumstances have changed in my life, (and no, my 6 million dollars has not yet been placed in my hands!) and yes - i have had some very stressful days. but my reaction to them has shifted. they no longer control me - they are not a part of my path. i am able to push them back away from me. and funny thing - negative things seemed repelled by my joyous new nature. and to say "joyous" is not the right word...see, i knew this would be difficult to write. it's a deep, centered feeling of peacefulness and faith. these two powerful elements overcome any doubt, fear, uncertainty, powerlessness, inadequate feelings, feelings of failure, feelings of being a fraud, feelings of whatever. that list has the word "feelings" in it a lot. what i discovered as diva dog and i took a beautiful morning walk, is that they are just that - feelings. close your eyes and touch a shiny piece of polyester. "feels like" silk. but it isn't. it's a trick of the mind. (easier to wash though). the mind - often bolstered by naysayers around us - tells us we "feel" unhappy, or we "feel" ugly or whatever. kind of like the "tastes like chicken" theory. ever feel downright angry or depressed or just plain blah? make yourself smile. that was something else i learned. if "feel-ings" can trick me one way, why not beat them on their own turf? just a big smile. doesn't have to be genuine. hold it for a few seconds. kind of gets things moving in the right direction. you feel pretty silly and start to kind of laugh at yourself a little. getting closer. the transformation part is unexplainable, though. this is the after-burner part. the lessons i've learned in the past year - especially the past 5 months - have been fast & well, not furious, but you get the point. as i take a baby step in faith and centeredness and trusting myself to know myself, good & great things have opened up to me...relationships healed...others put to the curb where they belonged...still others continuing, but this time with boundaries. what a glorious life i am having at this moment in my journey. i hate using cliches and buzz words, but again, it's unexplainable. i feel like there is a destination i'm heading to and am getting ready along the way....sort of like changing clothes in the taxi, i guess. there was another time in my life when these challenges and changes presented themselves to me, but i was closed to them. i was still looking in other directions for what i've been given. this time, i didn't resist. i had the courage, and the life-knowledge to accept in what was true to me, and push back what didn't ring clear. i was ready to become myself without fear of who that may be. seems like a fair deal - give up all the illusions and crud in your life in exchange for peacefulness, self-love, one-ness of spirit with whatever/whomever you call God. a great cost? you betcha. worth it? you double betcha. a lot of conscious hard work, but the reward is sweet and tasty. i worked with a girl named Patty. Whenever you asked "how are you?" she'd say "perfect!" and the way she said it just makes me smile to think it. sorry to say, patty, but i stole that from you. it made me feel so good to hear it that i figured i could pass that on. and it's worked. people smile when i say it...they may be thinking "the audacity!" or they may just take the same simple pleasure in the word that i did. either way, it makes me think of Patty, so I smile. i'm off track, as usual, but am realizing it was pointless to try to speak the unspeakable. here's my advice: take a nice long walk along a shaded path with the sun's rays peeking through the tall treetops...sense everything...the smells of the cedars, the flowers sweetly warming in the sun...the moss...watch the butterflies tangle and play...the dragonflies as they hover nearby and check you out...listen to the calls of the different birds - and the answering song from another treetop....reach out and touch the spiky pine needles..., the soft snapdragons with their velvety orange and pink ....the rough shaggy bark. do this. take in each and every whisper from nature. be thankful and respectful of all that you have in that one tiny moment. that's where the starting gate is. L.
at 2:16 PM
Saturday, August 04, 2007
so is it love or intimacy that we seek? most men say love (read: sex), most women seek intimacy...a deep spiritual connection of the soul. a broad, sweeping generalization? maybe, but it is MY blog, after all. and after spending 2 wednesdays by the broad, sweeping vastness of my Lake, i'm given to fits of largeness. have i always been capable of love? yes. yes. now, intimacy - that's a whole different box of crayons. no. i have guarded my most private self. shielded it from everyone and everything. like a fine porcelain doll given by a grandmother to a child to save....not to share. kept it safety-sealed for protection from even those with every right to expect it. a simple hug broke that seal. a genuine heartfelt hug. one of those "i want to melt into you and become a part of you" hugs. and isn't that what intimacy is? becoming a part of the other person. joining, or re-joining, the heart, the spirit, the bond. re-tying loose threads. finding where the nooks meet the crannies in your psyche. i can say i've loved my mother. but have never allowed her the intimacy of myself. and never allowed her to share the intimacy of herself with me. i can say i've loved my brother. and i have - with a fierceness that only an older sister can have. but untill the three of us shared hugs on the shore of my Lake, i can't say that i've shared more than my thoughts, dreams, disappointments of whatever moment, joy of whichever success. a great start, but not intimacy. you can share all those things with a stranger on a call-in radio show. intimacy cannot be quantified. you can spend every day of your life with a person and not allow them intimacy. conversely, that friend who lives across the continent can share the imtimacy of your soul. the word "intimacy" is often swapped out for "sex" in polite company. and they can be the same - when the only way you are able to express the gratitude you have for the other person sharing their inner self is to do so in a physical expression. (now let me stop here a second with a disclaimer: there was no sexual activity between we 3 family members. none. that is just creepy if you thought that. ). now back to the rant. i had thoughts tinkling around my brain about love vs. intimacy for a while. how is it that i can say "i love you" to someone and it may as well be "don't forget your sweater?" yet have friends - male and female - that i feel intimate with? is it because they allow me to be me, and celebrate the "me" that i am without trying to smooth down the edges or touch-up a little faded paint here and there? is it because we are kindred in some way? share deep emotions about a particular subject, or way of thinking? maybe both. and more. in my younger days, i have had sex with men who had passion about things that i had passion about, but there was something sustaining that was lacking. i have also felt moments of deep compassion and understanding with a person and felt very intimate with them. but for that moment. what sustains intimacy? does it need to be fed? can it come and go? once discovered, is it always there, but sometimes buried under obligations and appointments and laundry? can it be cultivated, or must it grow wild? rooting at whim and where. what sparks it? why are there moments when i look into my dog's eyes and see her very thoughts (as i imagine them)? see her pure love. is pure love part of intimacy? the love that accepts without judgement, that opens itself without reservation, that expects no payment or return on investment. i think you need one to have the other, with the 2 neck-and-neck in the chicken/egg question. what is intimacy with a love that takes? what is pure love with no intimacy of the soul? is one the resting place for the other? the result of? the condition of? so as the waves lapped and answered one another farther down the shore, we 3 became intimate, unashamedly, with one another. and i have the pictures to prove it. L
at 10:18 AM