"Out of a great need we are all holding hands and climbing.
Not loving is letting go. Listen.
The terrain around here is far too dangerous for that."
- Hafiz -
July has been a study in paradox, once again full of the immense practice of embracing life’s incongruities and opposites. Truths that turn into fiction and fictions that turn into truth. The onslaught of emotion and information that shifts and turns, sabotages and surprises us each and every day. It is dangerous out there. It is also safe, when we connect with our eyes, our words, our laughter, our discernment and humanity.
Darkness, anger, and deep, huge sorrow are swirling alongside incomprehensible deaths and violence. As a writer and a human being, I am at a loss for words despite feeling pulled to speak.
Yet I found words to share today, written four years ago in The Book of Calm, when whole paragraphs flowed out to honor "una herida del alma" — a wound of the soul, what we feel below numbness and anger and disbelief.
"Sorrow lives here with its silences and wails, the excruciating suddenness or slowness of someone or something disappearing, and it...
“. . . when the Light of the World shattered, it fell into all events
and all people, past, present, and future. . . . We are here to find the hidden light in all people . . .
it is not about doing something huge . . . it is about healing the world that touches you.”
- Rachel Naomi Remen, quoting her grandfather -
I’ve been feeling a great grief in the air, laced with anger and melancholy. Visiting our property today, the first line of this poem began singing in my head. The saguaros stood rooted with arms outstretched. The line kept singing, then turned into this poem.
Four months have passed since I’ve written a blog. I found myself having nothing to write, as I took the March blog’s quote to heart and let the river of life carry me, trusting that my bones would be held and that I would indeed float.
I can’t say the last four months were easy. The turbulence was strong, and from what I’ve heard from friends and can sense in the air and in others’ eyes, I don’t imagine it’s been so calm for many of you either.
that ordinary everyday life is, in truth, extraordinary.”
- from The Book of Calm -
I came across Pat Schneider’s poem The Patience of Ordinary Things the other day and it moved me to tears and appreciation for the last six months—days and weeks of immersion into an unscheduled, come-what-may experience full of the extraordinary ordinary, and the time to reflect on the specific beauty of every day.
I share her poem with you here as my end-of-year blessing, with gratitude for your continued readership, and wishes for a bright New Year.
“Ambiguous losses are a particular type of loss that lack definition and lack closure . . .
hope lingers on, and it’s really hard to live in hope that is not met . . .
Humans don’t do uncertainty well.”
– Kelly Maxwell Haer, PhD.*
Similar to this moment in history, I grew up during the unsettled fifties, sixties and early seventies during years of nuclear threat, self-interested political leadership, ongoing war, social unrest, and the early years of environmental warnings. Within my own family, the silent unraveling of my parents’ marriage in my teen years, and my father’s sudden suicide when I was nineteen left me with...
I am not feeling particularly calm today, and so I am using the "Yes, and..." awareness practice from The Book of Calm:
"YES, I am feeling extremely jaggedy today, AND I am grateful for everyone and everything in my life—near and far, wide-open to both the beauty and turmoil around me."
Once admitted to myself, I can sense the conflicting energies within. I remember that beneficial actions are an antidote to such unease and confusion. My action today has been to be vulnerable, courageous, and awake to how connec...
An idea can take hold of our lives and not let go, even if we have no clue how to manifest it, even if it seems to disappear for long chunks of time, or an old belief nags us with its whispered No. In the midst of finally listening to the idea and doing something about it, extreme emotions and physical aches can become the norm, and contrary to logic, this idea becomes the very inspiration that gets us up in the morning (often in la madrugada—the dark before the dawn).
Or at least that is what has happened to me over the last year, as old memories and stories jo...
Here it is, the first day of the last month of 2016. November disappeared while I finished the first draft of my book while attempting to navigate the sea changes happening in the world.
After five months, the manuscript is with the editor. My body is refusing to sit longer than ten minutes in a chair. I am taking a month off from social media and writing, and enjoying the connections with family and friends and the beauty around me. This blog is a November/December letter dedicated to calling in our wiser and larger selves even, and especially, in the midst of seeming chaos.
Back in March I read a review of a book with a title much too similar to the working title of my own book. My first reaction was a nauseous feeling in my stomach, accompanied by the thought, “Well, that’s it. Might as well throw it in the trash.” The next day a friend’s questions led me to talk about my work. The finality of the “throw it in the trash” thought disappeared as I spoke to her with energy and excitement about coaching and writing. Feeling thankful for the conversation and relieved to once again connect with the foundational inspiration of all I do, we said our goodbyes.