Winding Down The Road

As 2012 begins its inevitable walk to the ‘Exit’ sign, and 2013 lingers outside the Entrance waiting for the bouncers to accept its credentials and admit it into our crazy, rockin’ psyches, I’ve got to grab a moment of retrospection about the road the karma truck has traveled since I first turned the key in the ignition in early January of this passing year.

I had no map – as you now know, it would have proven useless anyway given my challenges with geography.  I was just going to drive with an eye to the sky and an ear to my heart.  Such spontaneous, free-formed initiatives were new to me.  You don’t work within the confines of a white-shoe, professional service firm and ad-lib your actions too much (though I certainly did my share – after all irreverence can be a good and freeing thing).  But again, I digress..

I agonized about hitting ‘publish’ for the first time, returning to my computer obsessively to see if anyone had stopped by.  I learned relatively quickly to leave the ‘stats alone, and to let go of any fantasies of becoming one of those bloggers that arrive at notoriety with equal parts serendipity and timing.  And as with most illusions that are suspended, reality became a far more incredible experience.

David Kanigan (davidkanigan.com)  who writes’Lead.Learn.Live’ (read it read it read it – you will look forward to his posts daily, and feel a bit bereft if for some reason he gives himself a break to take a vacation or something) was my first ‘follower’. Lori, a writer by profession with prodigious creativity and warmth (and a fabulous gift unto herself) posting at donnaanddiablo.wordpress.com, was my second follower.  Andy, my sister Deborah and friend Joanne followed thereafter.  And now a year later with over 600 followers and 31,000 views, I still have no clue where the karma truck is going.  What I do know is that it is traveling with an incredible entourage of people who openly share their thoughts, encourage me to keep the gas tank full and forgive me some of my lamer efforts (like yesterday’s post – a non-existent YouTube video – yes, I need more Apple therapy).

There is no question I would have continued writing, for there is someplace I’m heading with this, and I am hoping that one day you all will help me figure that out with your suggestions and ideas.  But for today, as I look back I can’t ask you for anything more.  I can only thank you for all that you’ve given me.  Friendships that have grown out of invisible threads that somehow connected us – we each picked up an end.  We have shared the stories of life – marriages beginning and ending, lives changing and morphing like shape shifters in a sci-fi novel, hearts exploding with pain and/or exuberance, illness and the new breath that arrives with the spring, questions with no answers and answers that are equivocal.  We have been silly and we have been considered.  These conversations have been some of the most fulfilling and instructive and delightful exchanges I have ever had.  You let me risk tipping a hand that I have held close for a very long time.  And you graced me with showing me yours.

I’m not sure what 2013 holds for the karma truck.  I do know that I am incredibly grateful for the friendships that I have come to cherish, the absolutely crazy-with-talent people who I follow, with perpetual open-mouthed awe and an ability to be as irritating as a relentlessly circling mosquito.  Thank you for your patience and encouragement.

I hope 2013 brings joy and good health, the courage to risk and the freedom to dream, long walks and endless possibilities.  I hope you feel lighter and less inclined to contort yourself into something you are not – for you have shown over and over again how amazing you are without such unnecessary effort.  I hope friendships deepen, love visits us all generously and often, and that we’re smart enough to relish its presence.  And I hope what we put out into this world meets the threshold of kindness and grace that allows for only goodness to be returned.  Here’s to next year.

(ps.  David – if this doesn’t work, don’t tell me..;-)

Karma Gets It Right Again

This morning, I’m raising a mimosa to Karma – acknowledging that once again, the truck rolled up the right driveway and gave back to two people what they have so generously put out into the world.  Salut!  L’chaim! Cheers!  Down In One! (oh..never mind the last one – I was having a throwback moment to my freshman year in college.  Note to David – this is not what Eric is doing – he is studying assiduously.

You see, yesterday an incredibly wonderful, warm, beautiful, generous, fantastic friend of mine got married.  My own personal experience tells me that the act of marriage is not always the great big hug from the universe you think you’re receiving.  Sometimes it is a painful, difficult and hurtful lesson that you have got to learn, intentionally masked by flowers, good food and music.  But this is different.  Yesterday the karma truck rolled up my friend’s driveway to celebrate the kind of love that the universe offers as its finest gift to those who are richly deserving.  Their lessons have been hard and emotionally painful, requiring that identities get rebuilt later in life than one might prefer.  Teardowns and subsequent reconstruction is hard work – projects ideally not taken on during one’s renaissance (so much nicer than ‘middle age’). Ironically, the effort that was required resulted in the emergence of two remarkable people with a dawning understanding that this was who they were before they kept adding to their exteriors (which was done to protect what was inside).

And they are amazing people.  I can ‘feel’ her essence from hundreds of miles away.  She knows what I am thinking though she has never met me.  Our emails are prescient and eerie, as if we are connected by some invisible cord that tugs when the other may be in need.  But this isn’t about how special she is to me.  Rather she brings her heart – open and huge – to the world around her.  In her writing, her spirited commitment to others, the magnificent love that just emanates from her whether she wants it to or not.  She is not perfect – that’s not what good karma is all about.  She brings her best self into the kitchen each morning and makes sure that it is reflected onto the day’s canvas.  And if her best self isn’t feeling all the great, she puts on a sweater to limit what others may see until she is ready and treats it gently, tiptoeing into the day, lowering the risk that she could do any harm (she couldn’t).

What she and her husband (she has to practice saying that I think) have is a bond that is so strong and unbreakable that it still surprises them after many years together.  He is her grounding when she flies too close to the sun; she is his ardent fan and passionate supporter should the crowds not fill the stands.  They understand that the magnificence of love is in the giving – and they give to each other without hesitation, caveat or limitation.  They have received what they so richly deserve, for I don’t know anyone other than my friend who begins the day thinking first about others, with almost too little regard for herself.

So I’m lovin’ the karma truck today.  And I couldn’t let a momentous occasion go without my own little wedding reception.  When it’s time for the toast, I hope everyone raises their glass and asks that Love smile on them and be good to them from now until forever.  May laughter and light fill their home.  Enjoy good health, great wine and best friendship.  And know always how much you are loved – by many.  We are  honored to be your friends.