Monday, January 22, 2018
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
This is a poem that was inspired by this old sweater which Harry gave to me 35 years ago on a vacation on Martha's Vineyard. I tend to keep things I love, and yesterday I gave it to my daughter and snapped this picture.
Early today, over coffee,
I told her I was going home
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.”
Monday, January 15, 2018
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Sunday, January 7, 2018
Friday, January 5, 2018
It's a snow day. Remember those days from school days? Fun! Now a day at home—with a mega blast snow blizzard whipping around the house—is beautiful but edgy. There are threats of no electricity. It has a different feel to it from when we would call up our friends to "come out and play." (Although I still do that sometimes!) Now my dearest friend lives 3000 miles away and the one who lives nearby won’t risk the icy drive.
The older we get the more we think in terms of our survival. Will there be no heat when the electricity goes off? Where will I go? And when we do go outside, we walk so gingerly you'd think we were on a tightrope....we can't afford to slip on the ice anymore.
It's interesting to watch the mind's antics: instead of playing with our friends, perhaps we read or catch up on our FB time and try to stave off a subtle ache of vulnerability...is that what the feeling is? We stare out the window...and feed the birds. I suspect one of the reasons we enjoy feeding these little chickadees is that we marvel at their tiny size and robust attitude against the storms. They stand strong and perky against the elements. We humans don't do as well.
I'm beginning to witness it all. Especially fear. Witnessing is another way of saying, be "mindful" of what my mind does, and noting the difference when I actually look at a fear instead of identifying with it. There is the fear of slipping and falling. It's not my fear, it’s not me, it's just a fear. Perhaps I can invite it in for tea? Oh here's the fear of loneliness. Oh yeah, haven't seen you for a while. Would you like some tea? Fear of dying? This one comes pretty often in the middle of the night. Come closer, let me invite you in. too. After I let all these little 'schmoos' come in to be seen and heard and let go of....well, they don't look so scary anymore.
Little schmoos? Yes, I'm taking our very serious fears and pains very lightly. It's easy to sink into them and become one with our problem: "I'm a diabetic" Or "I'm single and depressed." Or "I'm home with the flu." We have these things but we are not these things. The times when we catch ourselves witnessing instead of identifying we catch a space between--like a breath of fresh air-- and then we know we're spiritual beings having a human experience.
We are more than our pain or fear. We can sit with the pain for tea, then let it go...even if just for a moment. Same with fear...I will sit with this niggling fear of my vulnerability and look it directly in the face--yup, I've got it. It has tea with me, then I ask it to leave. Thank you and good by.
Perhaps humans are more like these little birds than we realize. We are brave. We put up with a lot. Some of us aspire to be like chickadees.
Gandhi once said: "Fearlessness is the first prerequisite of a spiritual life." I think it's time to feed the birds and to allow myself to know that I too am being fed and cared for in more ways than I admit. Who shall I invite in for tea today? And after tea….time to write in my gratitude journal…