Sunday, January 29, 2012

changing my mojo

A lot of changes have just crashed down the pipe into my life. More than I could have imagined. So in honor of that I am changing my blog shape - and starting a new one that will be on SeedBed. Let me know if you like this new format.

I heard a bit of a quote this week attributed to Thomas Merton. Something like this; life was not meant to be pleasure, it was meant to be joy.

I quite agree. Pleasure is not a bad thing, but it is fleeting and unstable. Pleasure is tied to our vital selves, our bodies. When our bodies are satisfied we experience pleasure. I've had more than my share of pleasure in life. I live in a house that has hot water whenever I want it. I eat a wide variety of food, much of it just plain scrumptious. I have had massages. (The first one I had I felt so torn - guilty because it was so decadent and overwhelmed with the experience. I just gave up and wept.)

But joy is for us all. Joy is the highest experience of life. Joy is fueled by love,by utter soul sweetness. Joy is not dependent on our bodies, the make of our car or the state of our wallets. Joy is what happens when we touch the truth of who we are, know that we are the beloved, and feel the gift of life surging through our being.

I hope you have joy today. Try some changes. Or when the changes try you, trust, and go with it. And joy will find you again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

'all the single women - oh, oh oh oh OHHH!'

I have learned a few things about being a single woman this past two weeks. First, the second sink in the bathroom is a PERFECT container for one's dainties. You don't have to fumble through the dresser drawers half asleep in the morning.

Also, you can gauge the necessity for picking up the house by how many pairs of shoes litter the floors of various rooms. I think when there are between 12 and 15 pairs the time may have come to do a run through the house.

My garbage output it low. I decided not to put the big can out today because there isn't much in it. I think that is because I am not cooking.

When the toilet seat is up on the guest bathroom, and it is ONLY Big Steve who does that, I have to wonder, who left it up? WALTER!!!!???

I have also learned that a bowl of my favorite lamb curry with heavy cream sauce is 18 points on Weight Watchers. SIGH. There will be no more of that.

There is a lot of junk mail to open and file, a job I have left to the man in the house because it seemed, well, manly. I have taken to building a fire out in the fire pit every Friday to burn the box of junk mail. Just for fun. And to remove the possibility of identity theft from all those papers with my info on it.

I have learned that after you sleep on one side of the bed you can simply move to the other for a week and it saves energy changing the bed. And I have learned that when you make a pie you better have someone to share it with or you are just going to get fat!

Now it is time for Big Steve to come home. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

beautiful humans

I have a friend who just wrote on his facebook page, "Every time I drive down the highway at night I keep my eyes open for Bigfoot." My friend is a 30ish man with a great wife, a little lap dog and a couple degrees under his belt. But he also has room for the miraculous, the mysterious, the unexpected.

When we become too sure of life, too confined in rationality, too sure of what we know, then we have lost one of the most beautiful aspects of human life - our ability to be in awe.

Awe is a way of seeing life, of being amazed, of wondering. Awe is already a disposition deep inside us, not far from us. But when we become serious and closed we lose access to it.

I miss my friend. He is one of the graduates who comes into my life, makes my life beautiful, and then marches off into his next world. I have no doubt he is making that world beautiful. I miss you Chad!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

alone at last

Big Steve my beloved is gone for a bit and I am alone, somehow feeling like I NEED to be alone. I am alone seeking some kind of inner solitude and peace. Not sure at all how the search is going, but I know a couple things:

1. We need some spaces to let our souls catch up with our bodies.
2. The fruit of walking gently comes to you later, like a sweet ambush.
3. I love listening to good funky eclectic music on the radio. Don't know why. I just do. Right now it is awesome.

So today was a day of trying to live well and gently and watching for epiphanies. (Friday was Epiphany, feast day, so this is the season to be surprised by something new!) I built a fire in our fire pit around noon to burn all the junk mail we got this week. Laid myself back on the wooden swing and let the sunshine on my face while the smoke swirled around me. Walter came by and curled up on top of me, so it was a good moment. I stayed there quite a while.

Life, I think, is made up of a collection of good moments, and for me, some of them have to be out in nature.

I picked up some curry from my favorite indian restaurant. They are magicians in there. Curry is the food of the gods, I swear.

While I was waiting for my curry order another woman, Mary, came in, ordered her curry and I invited her to sit with me while we waited. The server brought us some chai tea. We talked a bit and she started telling me about her husband who is dying of cancer. Then told me other things, including the fact that they have been married five years and it has been worth every moment. He is pretty much unwell now, and she is the caregiver. I told her I would pray for her when I thought of her... like now. She asked me my name. We smiled and were silent. I liked her. Odds are I will never see her again but somehow we were women friends sharing tea for that moment. When I left with my bag of food I saw him in the van, leaning a weary head back on the head rest.

Everything in life seems pretty temporary to me at my age. I know the futility of hanging on. But there is still so much LIFE to engage in. Tastes, smells, moments in the sun, and people. These are good things. Very good.

Monday, January 2, 2012

12 Days of Christmas

We pulled out lights down yesterday. It seemed soon, but then, Christmas was a strange collection of days this year so maybe it was the right time. We are now in the twelve days of Christmas, which traditionally start on Dec 25 and travel out for twelve days until Epiphany.

Epiphany is the season of the magi - the season of getting on one's camel and following the star. Appropriate inner work is done in seeking, openness, awareness, watching and moving. And the end of Epiphany is a burst of awe.

We want AWE at Christmas. Somehow the expectations of the moments leading up to Christmas and the giving of gifts and smells of turkey with fat aunts and hairy uncles circling the kitchen are needed to be the cause of a deep inner bliss. Santa has probably played into that as well - the idea that there will be some ultimate surprise descending on us.

In fact, there are few true surprises in life, especially now that the internet has come to be. Our weather is predicted quite accurately for us, the future parsed and served up like a dissected piece of fruit.

So where is the awe? Awe is possible when we become seekers. When we lumber onto our camels and follow whispers of God, watching and waiting with anticipation and patience to know what the gifts of Christmas mean, what our life means.

So pull down your lights and throw your tree out on the front walk to be picked up and ground into mulch for city paths. But don't ignore the light shining, ever so dimly, in your own heart. Keep your eye on that.