anxiety, faith, life lessons, politics, Ukraine,

What’s going on?

Hi my friend,

I hesitate to open this letter with an inquiry as to how you’re doing, for I think I know.  You are struggling to stay away from the news, yet realize the importance of knowing what’s going on, your head aches with the insistent rhythm of a drum (one of the big ones), tears arrive unexpectedly – part sorrow, part fury.  You cling to the faith in your soul, yet worry that faith may not be enough.  You worry, you fret, you feel the breath of your mom on your neck.  No, I’m sorry about that last part – that’s my mom having a PTSD episode in the afterlife, and reminding me to remember too.

We shake our fists at the sky, we donate money to so many causes that it’s possible we will become a cause ourselves, we pray silently and constantly.  Our impotence is matched solely by our desire to make it better.  I wrote yesterday that it’s like yelling into a window fan.  When I was a kid, I used to stand on Roosevelt Avenue underneath the elevated subway and sing a note as loud as I could without opening my mouth too wide just to see how loud I could voice my frustratons without anyone looking at or hearing me (I didn’t want to scare anyone).  There are no elevated subways in North Carolina, so I’ve sort of screwed myself out of an emotional outlet.

So, we commiserate you and I – Putin is wrong, Trump has defrauded the government (and to those who disagree with me – so be it – but it’s been common knowledge for years)…if you’re lucky, your children turn into the kind of adults you always wished them to be, love as a verb is far better than love as a noun or adjective.  I could go on – but it’s probably better if you do this exercise yourself.

It seems like we are all going off half-cocked with our own egocentric responses to the moments before us.  Our need to control a narrative that has gone off the rails.  We grow more prideful, more adamant in our positions because we can’t be wrong.  Criss Janis has a great thought – “Pride is pride not because it hates being wrong, but because it loves being wrong:  To hate being wrong is to change your opinion when you are proven wrong; whereas pride, even when proven wrong, decides to go on being wrong”.

Is this where we are?  We refuse climate change, we deny civil rights to discreet populations because of some narcissistic need that has nothing to do with the people being harmed?  We repeat the atrocities of the past – not because we refuse to learn – but because we can’t be wrong? Seriously?

Ah my dear, I have raged for too long, with little to offer as a prescription – it’s time to bring this to a close.  But you know me – I have to sign off with some attempt at grace.  I stll maintain that we are a glorious species (if misguided and prideful),  with gifts to offer each other that are indescribably beautiful and the brilliance to put the sun to shame.  I am grateful you are here, I am beyond fortunate that we are friends, and today, right at this moment, feels like singing under the elevated.  Sending you much love…

faith, friendship, life lessons, love, Uncategorized

Where are my words

My dear friend,

We exchanged emails last night – and now I’m without adequate words.  This post will not do anything justice, and yet…I feel like there’s so much I want to say.

I’m sitting in my little office, surrounded by pictures of my family – parents who I miss daily, Andy, my boys who are now men, daughters-in-law, granddaughters.  This is where I feel most comforted, most bewildered, most loved.  I have one of your photographs framed here too.  An abundance, truly.  It can make my heart hurt.  I whisper “thank you, thank you” throughout the day.  I can think of no better mantra.

We’ve never met, yet I feel like we’ve known each other for years.  How do I console you when I am literally across the ocean?  How do I begin to articulate to you – a man of faith and family, deep love and incredible grace – that I have an ache deep within that exists with yours.  How I pray for a miracle, even though I know that you and your wife have made peace with something I am railing against.  Yours is one of those once in a lifetime loves – and though I believe it transcends time, I want you both to celebrate it together forever.  Petulant, I know.  Selfish, I agree – for this is not about me at all.

I pause to look once more at your magical new grandson, as he is held with some distractedness by his toddler sister.  Her eyes are luminous, filled with some whimsy and a little mischief.   You are literally in the midst of the alpha and the omega.  One struggles with this most profound of extremes.  Yet, you sent me peace last night.  How can that be?  In your deepest sorrow, you offered me gratitude for feeling the telepathic connection that has caused us to write each other out of the blue for a few years now.  How can that be?

Cherished friend, I wish you peace.  I am thankful that your faith is deep and your family surrounds you.  I wish your beloved wife time…time to delight in your love and the love of her children.  I wish she could stay.  What can I say, I’ve never been one for small wishes when it comes to those I hold so close in my heart.  Needless to say, I’ll check in again soon, perhaps with better words – though that’s unlikely.  What can one say when there are no words?  Only these random murmurings.   Much love..xx

aging, anxiety, faith, friendship, holidays, inspiration, life lessons, love, Uncategorized

Heartbeats

The year is coming to a close…and I struggle to write of joyous moments and rhythmic episodes of delight.  I know they were there – as I often say, in those spaces in between.  They were in the moments with Sophie’s head on my shoulder or singing (so to speak) on our walks; listening to Sienna imitate all the animal noises she knows and feeling the tenderness of her cheek; watching my sons as adoring fathers…the incredible kindness and love of friends near and far; the excitement of a new home (which with a little luck and prayer we will get into next week); sunsets that took my breath and sunrises that gave it back…

Yes…undeniably there have been moments, magical, wondrous moments.

And yet, this has also been a particularly strange and disorienting year.  Certainly being in temporary living quarters, without Andy more often than not, has been particularly upending.   Somehow as we get older it seems we lose more people – or perhaps age makes us more sensitive to these departures.  And in every corner of the world, there is pain – palpable, horrid, unrelenting pain – that one can’t ignore.  The faces of children – hungry, broken, scared; real-time nightmares from which one cannot look away.  I spend a lot of time seeking comfort, for it all hurts so damn much.

And I don’t get it, I swear I don’t…I don’t get hate, vitriol, bias, ignorance…I don’t get power grabs considered more valuable than the heartbeats of our children – anywhere in the world.  What are we doing?   Kleenex stock must be doing really well, for I’m certainly using my share.

And yet…yet, I hope.  I hope that you all receive all that you wish for and wish for all that you have.  I wish that the orbit of the earth, spins just slightly askew, so that we can stop perhaps, rewind and try again to create something enduring and universally  reflective of the beauty of the heart.  I hope…for all of us..

“Hope

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come

Whispering, ‘it will be happier’ –  Alfred Tennyson

 

most-influential-blogs-of-2012 (1)

duality, faith, life lessons, mindfulness, music, sisters, Uncategorized

Oxymoron

Hi  my friend,

The night was sleepless and I’m wide awake…and the co-existence of contradictory realities seems to prevail.  I am a contradiction in terms – held together by the small inhalations between words.  You’d think that living within duality would at least offer up some deep slumber at the end of a day.  Ha.

Here’s one for you – I stopped believing in atheism a long time ago (yes, an oxymoron with a little hint of humor).  About the time I stopped writing everything in lower case and pretending that I was a potential hybrid of joni mitchell and e.e. cummings.  That said, I still belief in disbelief, if disbelief equals wonder and incredulity and stuff that’s just really hard to believe.

I believe in God.  I believe that there is something that I can’t adequately explain and seek daily, even though I know it’s there.  We have conversations (ok – I do all the talking, but given my profession and personality, that’s not too common).  Perhaps as my sister notes, the older we get, the more comfort we seek – whether it be in a more spiritual grounding,  greater connections with others, opening our eyes and arms a bit wider  – or all of the above.  One’s world may become more circumspect while one’s outlook widens….see what I mean?

I believe in humankind despite our reiterative behaviors of intentional cruelty and deplorable injustice.  It exists within the same construct as acts of graciousness and generosity that I witness everyday.  I cry over both.  And a sunrise can be as comforting as a sunset.  Go figure.

So much for the theory that it can be absolutely one thing or another.  Life is beautiful and unforgivably ugly.  We seek forgiveness when we find it difficult to forgive.  We ask for people to be held accountable and shy away from personal responsibility.  We’re a funny species – which makes me wonder why we came up with ‘oxymoron’ – it’s not a particularly appealing word.

And yet –

Faith is unassailable.  Small wonders are unassailable – the magnificence of a child delighting in the way a flower yields to its touch;  the silliness of dancing while taking a walk (me, with my earphones on, and yes, I did make sure there was no one around); those kinds of hugs where you feel completely surrounded by love and warmth; sunlight on spiderwebs…

And somehow it is through that prism that we look everyday – how we hold our days, each other, our lives.  Through its angles we are fractured and we are gorgeous,  a spectrum of dualities that make no sense and yet belong together.  So I repeat, go figure..

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