Thursday, February 07, 2013
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, January 12, 2009
"Nothing in Excess." The second motto of the Temple of Delphi.
And for me, the third key to bring about peace, joy and harmony into my life is
The Golden Rule. . . . which dates back to ancient times and encompasses a wide range of world cultures and religions.
The ancient GREEK meaning of the Golden Rule:
"What thou avoidest suffering thyself seek not to impose on others." Epictetus
"It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly (agreeing 'neither to harm nor be harmed'), and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life." Epicurus
Other translations of the Golden Rule" are:
Buddhism"Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill."
"One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter."
Baha'i Faith"Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not."
"Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself."
Christianity"Love your neighbor as yourself."
"Do to no one what you yourself dislike." ("Do unto others as you would have done unto you.")
Confucianism"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."
Taoism"Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss."
"The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful."
"One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires."
Judaism"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."
"Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."
“That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind.”
“None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
Jainism"Just as pain is not agreeable to you, it is so with others. Knowing this principle of equality treat other with respect and compassion."
GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND MAY THIS NEW YEAR BRING US CLOSER TO OUR ORIGINAL SELVES . . . OUR TRUE SELVES. MAY WE FIND OUR MEANING WITHIN. AND MAY WE ALL ASPIRE TO LIVE BY THE THREE KEYS TO PEACE, JOY AND HARMONY.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
near blooming magnolias and an awaking rhododendron;
in the dry wintered dirt; under an ever-greened branch;
lay a head; stilled and quiet.
A head with finely carved features of an ancient time.
Something that was once intact.
Something that was once admired.
Something that no longer is now what it was then.
The beauty of then.
The terror of then.
Something has vacated the premises
Something brave and beautiful.
Something without the head that lay
under the ever-greened branch; in the dry wintered dirt;
near blooming magnolias and an awakening rhododendron.
My prayer: May I be so brave and beautiful.
Friday, March 28, 2008
SACRED FOOTING ©1999
Pass unto this ground
of sacred marble temples
and columns, that surround.
Remove thy leather sandals -
leave foreign lands behind.
Remove the blinding sunlight
from the eye within thy mind.
Speak not, yet, do listen . . .
for 'tis through the olive tree
the voice of wise Athena
unweaves the mystery.
Atop this limestone fortress
each pillar bears a name,
Stone faces turn to flesh, once more . . .
no thing remains the same.
the aged roots of thee
thrive under the protection . . .
of this Acropoli.
Monday, March 24, 2008
"Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do . . . "
On gratitude for important things overlooked:
"`Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English); 'now I'm opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!' (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off).
`Oh, my poor little feet, I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears? I'm sure I shan't be able! I shall be a great deal too far off to trouble myself about you: you must manage the best way you can; --but I must be kind to them,' thought Alice, 'or perhaps they won't walk the way I want to go!'"
On the law of an object in motion:
"`Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
`I don't much care where--' said Alice.
`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
`--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.'"
On my presence and participation:
"Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. `What sort of people live about here?'
`In that direction,' the Cat said, waving its right paw round, `lives a Hatter: and in that direction,' waving the other paw, `lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad.'
`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'"
On the guilt of self-pity and the self-pity of guilt and the guilt of self-pity:
. . . and in another moment, splash! she was up to her chin in salt water.
However, she soon made out that she was in the pool of tears which she had wept when she was nine feet high. `I wish I hadn't cried so much!' said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. `I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears!'"
On what things really are when I let go of what I want them to be:
"While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the poor little thing howled so, that Alice could hardly hear the words:--
`Here! you may nurse it a bit, if you like!' the Duchess said to Alice, flinging the baby at her as she spoke. . .
. . . `If I don't take this child away with me,' thought Alice, `they're sure to kill it in a day or two: wouldn't it be murder to leave it behind?' She said the last words out loud, and the little thing grunted in reply (it had left off sneezing by this time). `Don't grunt,' said Alice; `that's not at all a proper way of expressing yourself.'
The baby grunted again, and Alice looked very anxiously into its face to see what was the matter with it. There could be no doubt that it had a very turn-up nose, much more like a snout than a real nose; also its eyes were getting extremely small for a baby: altogether Alice did not like the look of the thing at all. `But perhaps it was only sobbing,' she thought, and looked into its eyes again, to see if there were any tears.
No, there were no tears. `If you're going to turn into a pig, my dear,' said Alice, seriously, `I'll have nothing more to do with you. Mind now!' The poor little thing sobbed again (or grunted, it was impossible to say which), and they went on for some while in silence.
Alice was just beginning to think to herself, `Now, what am I to do with this creature, when I get it home?" when it grunted again, so violently, that she looked down into its face with some alarm. This time there could be no mistake about it: it was neither more nor less than a pig, and she felt that it would be quite absurd for her to carry it any further.
So she set the little creature down, and felt quite relieved to see it trot away quietly into the wood. `If it had grown up,' she said to herself, `it would have made a dreadfully ugly child: but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.' And she began thinking over other children she knew, who might do very well as pigs . . . "
On me - the part of the Caterpillar is also played by me:
"`Who are you?' said the Caterpillar.
`I--I hardly know, Sir, just at present--at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then".
`What do you mean by that?' said the Caterpillar sternly. `Explain yourself!'
`I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, `because I'm not myself, you see.'
`I don't see,' said the Caterpillar....Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had nothing else to do, and perhaps after all it might tell her something worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed away without speaking, but at last it unfolded its arms, took the hookah out of its mouth again, and said:
`So you think you're changed, do you?'
`I'm afraid I am, sir,' said Alice; `I can't remember things as I used--and I don't keep the same size for ten minutes together!'"
On knowing nothing:
"The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, `Why is a raven like a writing-desk?'
`Come, we shall have some fun now!' thought Alice. `I'm glad they've begun asking riddles.--I believe I can guess that,' she added aloud.
`Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?' said the March Hare.`Exactly so,' said Alice.
`Then you should say what you mean,' the March Hare went on.
`I do,' Alice hastily replied; `at least--at least I mean what I say--that's the same thing, you know.'
`Not the same thing a bit!' said the Hatter. `You might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!'
`You might just as well say,' added the March Hare, `that "I like what I get" is the same thing as "I get what I like"!'
`You might just as well say,' added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, `that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe"!'
`It is the same thing with you,' said the Hatter, and here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and writing-desks, which wasn't much."
On the arrogance of boredom . . . the disrespect of Time:
"Alice sighed wearily. `I think you might do something better with the time,' she said, `than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers.'
`If you knew Time as well as I do,' said the Hatter, `you wouldn't talk about wasting it. It's him.'
`I don't know what you mean,' said Alice.
`Of course you don't!' the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. `I dare say you never even spoke to Time!'
`Perhaps not,' Alice cautiously replied: `but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.'
`Ah! that accounts for it,' said the Hatter. `He won't stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he'd do almost anything you liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it were nine o'clock in the morning, just time to begin lessons: you'd only have to whisper a hint to Time, and round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past one, time for dinner!'"
On my fear of going hungry:
`And what does it live on?'
`Weak tea with cream in it.'
A new difficulty came into Alice's head. `Supposing it couldn't find any?' she suggested.
`Then it would die, of course.'
`But that must happen very often,' Alice remarked thoughtfully.
`It always happens.'"
On seeing the truth that falls the illusion:
`Sentence first--verdict afterwards.'
`Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!'
`Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.
`I won't!' said Alice.
`Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.
`Who cares for you?' said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) `You're nothing but a pack of cards!'
At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her: she gave a little scream, half of fright and half of anger, and tried to beat them off, and found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead leaves that had fluttered down from the trees upon her face.
`Wake up, Alice dear!'
`Why, what a long sleep you've had!'
On waking into a new reality:
"`Now, Kitty, let's consider who it was that dreamed it all. This is a serious question, my dear, and you should not go on licking your paw like that--as if Dinah hadn't washed you this morning! You see, Kitty, it must have been either me or the Red King. He was part of my dream, of course--but then I was part of his dream, too! Was it the Red King, Kitty? You were his wife, my dear, so you ought to know--Oh, Kitty, do help to settle it! I'm sure your paw can wait!' But the provoking kitten only began on the other paw, and pretended it hadn't heard the question."
"In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream --
Lingering in the golden gleam --
Life, what is it but a dream?"
The above excerpts are from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass as they parallel my own adventures in this lifetime . . .
All Original Illustrations by: John Tenniel
Alice and the tumbling cards and Alice holding the baby pig by: Arthur Rackham
Dear sister Singleton . . . to Alice . . . to Wonderland . . . to us!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
There was a guy next to me. I say ‘guy’ because he was probably in his late twenties. He was a man. And, he was a guy . . . the guy next to me at the bar. I told him I skipped out on church. He told me he skipped out on work. Cheers. I was waiting for my ‘party.’ He was waiting for his carry-out. We both watched the high school basketball game on the bar television. It really didn’t surprise me that one of the teams playing was Detroit Pershing High: my mom and dad’s alma mater. And, it really didn’t surprise me that the guy worked for a company that took over the old building that once housed the company my dad worked for, right down the street. I passed it on the way in, looked for the water tower I remembered as a child and had flash backs of driving my dad to work in the station wagon so I could use the car for the day. This is my home town. It’s not like I never come here, but it felt so far away and foreign to me today. There were a few more ‘coincidences’ that matter only to me. I knew my mom was with me. I knew I did right by listening to my heart and not giving in into the familial pressures - as invisible as they are; as real as they seem - nor the figments of fragmented guilt over my own civil disobedience.
I had two drinks before my family arrived.
I was trying hard, with all the strength I could gather, to have a good day; but I wasn’t. I was trying to keep my smile steady while my eyes welled up and I curled my toes into the floor hoping the pain of doing so would stop my overwhelming need to burst into tears.
“Is something bothering you?”
“You seem upset?”
Questions were coming in. I had no answers; only lies.
“Nothing. I’m fine”
I figured I could play the game too. I could pretend. I could ‘put my happy face on’ and get through the night. I gave it a shot, for the sake of the kids and my dad. But for the rest of them, well . . .
“What’s wrong?” With me? Me, the one who wanted to bow out if they were to start singing “Happy Birthday” to the lighted candle shaped like a little birthday cake that my aunt, my mom’s only living relative, brought. My discomfort annoyed them. My reaction insulted them. We didn’t sing. Thank God. My mom is dead! Dead. If I celebrate anything it will be the day she got to leave this craziness. Even the church celebrates the saints on the day they left this world for the better world.
What’s wrong with me? Hmmmmmmm? I don't have to think long on that one: I am without a job. I have been unemployed for longer than I choose to acknowledge. Despite putting resumes out every day, I have not found work. I am broke. I have liquidated all of my assets. I have canceled all of my policies. I’ve been without medical care and dental care for a year. I have no house. I have no food. Well, not much food. I have no money. I have no job. I have no peanut butter. I have no mother. I have no husband. I have no jelly. I have nobody. I am, for the most part, alone. I am alone (but not lonely) and moneyless (but not penniless) and foodless (but not starving) and houseless (but not homeless) . . . and for today, on this day, I am sad . . . but not suicidal. I am standing at the edge of the cliff looking down at up's reflection. I am not good enough to be a willing and able participant in this world; and I am not bad enough to be seen in my robes spun of desperation, fear and humility. Speaking of humility: it is a great thing, an honorable state - but when the robes come off and all that is visible is a scary looking ribcage holding the heart captive; that's when humility feels more like shame. And that is what I felt when being asked what is wrong with me and I clutched my robe tighter than ever before.
I am also in the midst of a powerful process; I am transitioning into the next phase of my womanhood – of my life – and I am doing it alone. Solo. Solo no one can hear me . . . an inside joke of my mom’s. I have no female elders left to hold my hand and guide my through this process – this long, dark tunnel of mystery. This winding, rolling, uphill path. This upheaval of pocketed and locketed emotions. This unraveling of memories – reel by reel. This exhuming of skeletal pain until only the marrow is holding me up.
“What is wrong with me?” ME?
I had another drink, a Jack and Coke; my mother’s drink. I didn’t eat. My stomach was knotted. I felt my mother. She was with me. And unfortunately, her pain was with me. But I’m not as good at covering it up as she was in her Jackie Kennedy fashion. I felt her pain. I felt my pain – and then I felt the pain of not wanting to charge a five dollar cheese enchilada.
“Lindy, you’re not eating?”
“Do you want some of mine; I can’t eat all of this?”
“Here’s part of a chicken burrito if you want it.”
Could I sink any smaller in my chair? Could I Alice my way into Wonderland oblivion?
I don’t know how I did it. I didn’t plan my escape at all. But, somehow, I found myself in my car and I was turning the key and I was backing out of the parking spot and I was approaching the exit of the lot and I was on the main road. I was gone. And I knew I’d have hell to pay for leaving without the formal goodbyes. And I knew no hell could be worse then my staying in the condition I was in. I knew some things, after all. I wasn’t that crazy.
I exited I-94 at Cadieux. There was some garbage strewn along the road. I turned right onto Harper and a couple of people ran across the street in front of me. I quickly slowed down so as not to hit them. That was real to me. This street is real to me. That litter is real to me. Those people running across the street in traffic was real to me.
I’m almost home. This is
Monday, March 10, 2008
Touch me on the chance my concubine will dance - like the tiny ballerina twirls round and round and round treasures of golden chains and diamond reins in my girlhood box of charms.
Touch me - hands close and familiar - for my muscles shiver and my skin quivers as my bones recall the ancient tales of chivalrous suitors in shining armor with razored edges.
Touch me with the shrill of your sword and call forth her rebellion - fighting and crying, yet dying to obey her lord, his every wish . . . do this so that I, face to her face, can impale her and all her misguidedness.
My breath, my death, my fear, my shrine,
My dear concubine . . .
'tis late my turn,
your urn awaits.
Beautiful music to fly with
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Today I am fighting the fear . . . crying over my hunger . . . I am starving here. I have lost everything. I have become a nothing. I am lying on the ocean bottom and the world is sailing by above me; right over me. They don’t see me. They don’t look down. They don’t know where I am and they do not ask. No one asks. I am alone. I am alone. I am completely alone in myself. And I am trying with every ounce of energy I can gather . . . with every seed of faith I can find . . . with every bit of hope still left within me . . . I am trying to rise up . . . to understand that my invisibility may be what saves me – saves me from the sharks. My separation may be what saves me – saves me from the numbers’ fate. And when I am saved will I be bitter towards them in their ignorance?
Will my arrogance also rise with me and claw at the humility that has robed me and kept me naked at the same time?
I was once a part of something . . . and now I am apart from everything.
I was once one of them . . . and now I am none of them.
I was once happily of this world and now I find myself left behind and stranded on this world waiting for the familiar to forget my name. Is that what is happening? Am I being forgotten, as I have wished?
Or, have I pulled my hood down over my face? Could it be that I am responsible for my own disappearance? Is it my eyes that cannot see them?
Was that the sound of a coin dropping to the bottom of a can? My God, what have I done? Have I done it again? Have I gone to the extreme?
Why can’t I simply read the words in the lines? Why do I insist that the message lies between? What if, all these years, there is nothing between the lines but space? Have I only been fooling myself?
I am here because I am. I did not veer right or left as the road offered. I went straight into the crackled clay dessert, sure of myself that I was headed for the
I am here because I chose this route or non-route - as it appears now to be a detour.
I am here because something in me won’t let go . . . won’t let go . . . won’t really let go of the pain.
I am here because I won’t let in . . . won’t let in . . . won’t really let in the love.
All I can do is accept where I am and what I alone have done to myself.
All I can do is ask God for the grace to be transformed from a nothing into nothingness and pray that my house of mirrors will pack up and close its doors forever - not just for the off season.
(Will the bearded lady and the world’s smallest man miss my exhibit? Will I miss them? What will I be when not brightly displayed between them?)
All I have left is the hope that God’s light does shine brightest through nothingness.
I know it does. I know it will. When is the question. When?
Echoes of Hunger
I am alone
I am alone
I am alone
Won’t let go
Won’t let go
Won’t let go
Can’t let in
Can’t let in
Can’t let in
Am I invisible
Am I invisible
Am I invisible
To all but myself
Am I forgotten
Am I forgotten
Am I forgotten
To all but myself
I curl up and tuck away
You give me your coins
I want your hand
I want your hand
I want your hand
To help me up
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
if I been swept away with
or swept and left by . . . the tide.
There was water. for years.
The Pacific was steady in his rhythm and strong in his force.
There was a trace of a sunset that had slipped between me and tomorrow.
There was a glimpse of something new
that had been something old . . .
I had been here before.
I had heard his call before.
But, I had blinked too long. the glimpse was gone.
I am here now.
I have returned.
I can hear now.
I have learned.
My eyes are open, waiting . . .
for him to emerge from the foam.
more than a glimpse.
more than yesterday.
more than a someday.
Return to me as I have to you.
Fate, my fate . . . I am ready to meet.
Potions, Lotions, Magic Charms: Music. Music. Music. Take a trip of ethereal Icelandic proportions on the wings of Sigur Ros.
This I Now Know: My mother always said . . . This too shall pass. This . . . this thing . . . like everything else . . . is passing . . . finally. And now, I must grasp onto new things as not to let them pass too quickly. Some things I want to let run like silky sand through my fingers . . . for long stretches of time. Some things, I want to quickly wash my hands of.
He Said / She Said:Eleanor Roosevelt, activist You Learn by Living
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Breathing without thinking about breathing.
And yet, aware of each breath.
Grateful for each breath.
Sun rising without thinking about rising.
And yet, I lean into the horizon with anticipation and awe.
Grateful for the day.
Moment birthing and dying into the seed of the next moment.
Reborn within itself.
Grateful for the chance.
I am breathing.
I am rising.
I am birthing.
I am grateful for the chance.
Potions, Lotions, Magic Charms: Slowly . . . slowly. Do things slower today. Drive a little slower today. The Earth is rotating at a speed of 1,000 miles an hour and moving around the sun at a speed of 67,000 miles an hour . . . so take a day to enjoy the ride.
This I now know: Moments don't wait for cameras or pens for recognition - most moments pass quickly by, unnoticed, unappreciated and underestimated.
He Said / She Said: A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. Maya Angelou.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Do opposites really exist? Love and fear are called opposites, but isn't fear really the absence of love? As chaos is the absence of order. And darkness is the absence of light.
Black and white are sometimes referred to as opposites. But since black absorbs all color, and white reflects all color, at what point are they separated from each other?
It can be debated that all things deemed as opposites are really only separated by fine blurry lines, volume or perception. Like the opposite of quiet is not loud; quiet is loud with the volume turned down. The fine line between love and hate varies depending on the root of the 'hate;" whether it is fear based or based on an emotional perception.
Balance is the key to understanding all of this. I have been struggling all my life to achieve balance. For my grandma who used to say to me, "everything in moderation," she understood balance, and applied it to the best of her ability, even despite to her difficult circumstances. I, on the other hand, have always been an 'all or nothing' kind of person. Feast or famine. Anything but balanced in yin yang harmony. But, as I come to see that opposites do not really exist, I also see that I have been creating the drama of the extremes in my life.
I have been made more aware of this as I have come to recognize one of my greatest character flaws; indulgence. I began to see myself indulging in everything from tears to fun to work to sleep to . . . ironically enough: the act of indulgence itself.
After sometime beating myself up over my greatest flaw and seeing that I was now indulging myself in self-reflection and self-awareness . . . I laughed. I could only laugh. But not too much.
Now, I think I have gained a better understanding about indulgence. Indulgence is the act of attempting to achieve Zen . . . the Zen state . . . but turning the volume up full blast; the act of absorbing something - as black absorbs all color but does not reflect or give back in an equal-balanced exchange of energies. Zen is becoming one with something - as white becomes one with all colors, reflects all colors, and becomes so balanced with all colors that it appears to be no color at all - nothing.
So, yesterday morning while I was having coffee at a friend's home on the lake, I sat quietly alone (she was sleeping) staring at the water with a heart-full of gratitude; gratitude for my friends and family, my health, for life, for the water. The brilliant morning sun sparkled radiantly on the soft wake of a sailboat. I sat. I sat. I sat. The water . . . water . . . water . . . until the transient bursts of light became too intense for my eyes. But even so, I did not want to look away. The sight was so amazing and hypnotizing. It was at that moment of my hesitation - my resistance - when I knew my state of Zen had passed. I got up and walked away.
Potions, lotions and magic charms: Take this exact moment, this very second, this breath and this heartbeat. . . to become completely and absolutely present in yourSelf.
This I now know: Resistance is a sign that either the state of Zen has passed or it is just beyond the next breath.
He said / She said: “Children are natural Zen masters; their world is brand new in each and every moment.” John Bradshaw
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I wouldn't have done it any other way. I would have been bored stiff on the straight and narrow path . . . I would have been smothered on the well traveled roads. I loved the curves, the twists, the secret niches within the Labyrinth's ancient design. So many choices - all branching from and to one singular point of origin.
But, wherever my curiosities, my hungers, my thirsts have taken me, and though I converted to Greek Orthodoxy years ago, a part of me always remained rooted in the soil of Catholicism. My mother planted that seed (more like a bulb) and nurtured it - so like a perennial flower, a rose, I kept coming back each year . . . and all the pruning back I did on myself - thinking I was cutting off old to start anew - aided in more and more roses budding and blooming the following spring.
I am still an open-hearted and thirsty spiritual soul . . . not as much of a devout religious woman as I was (while raising my children) nor am I a new ager . . . I am somewhere in between the two. I know what I know deep inside. I now know there are no right or wrong paths - no right or wrong religions or belief systems . . . and I know there is one and only one point of origin. One creator. One God . . . who goes by many different names; wears many different faces; speaks in many different tongues, and has a great sense of humor. There is no great race to reach the answers at the end. We can take as long as we want. We can take the most difficult of paths if we choose. We can choose - and that's the most beautiful of our gifts.
But, getting back to my personal roots in Catholicism: I was named (my middle name) after Saint Therese of Lisieux - the "Little Flower." When I was a little girl, my mom gave me an icon of St. Therese; her image, superimposed on an old transverse piece of a tree trunk - the bark around it like a frame. I have had it with me through all of my moves and my travels. It is so very special to me not only because it is such an old family piece and it is the likeness of my Patron Saint . . . but also it once belonged to my mom.
Over the years I have had endless conversations with Saint Therese. We had shared many things in common - our youth (she died, a Carmelite Nun, at the young age of 24 so she will always be a "young" saint in the church), our religion, our love for Jesus, and writing (she was also a writer and poet).
I talk to her more like a sister, a friend, for I have never really felt I needed to "go through" another to talk to God. I talk to God directly. But, St. Therese gives me great advice and has helped me through much of the turmoil in my life.
The other night, I dreamed that a messenger came to tell me that a single rose had been delivered to me. This has great meaning to me, as St. Therese's 'signature' is the rose. She has said, "I will spend my heaven doing good on Earth. I will let fall a shower of roses."
I actually forgot about the dream until I was journaling before bed last night. Then the light bulb went on in my heart . . . things - more signs - became apparently clearer.
With the upheaval of my life that exploded in my face on (Monday) October 1 . . . it had slipped my conscious mind that October 1 is the Feast Day / Memorial of Saint Therese of Lisieux.
Her life is remembered and celebrated - my life was suddenly remembered . . . the life I had not been living.
I packed up my icon of St. Therese yesterday. I put it in a box labeled, "special." The icon now serves to remind me that I need to love mySelf, above all else. I need never put mySelf in a situation where love is absent or distorted. My icon now has a stain of wax across it - an accident, perhaps, when 'he' slammed my lit candle down to extinguish it in his 'not so gentle' ways. I left some of the wax alone - again, a reminder - and how appropriate that St. Therese will now and forever be the image of Self-love for me. October is the month she is remembered in more ways than one. October is the month I begin my new LIFE. And October is also the month for domestic violence awareness.
Potions, Lotions and Magic Charms: Standing meditation - some Tai Chi breathing exercises - stand with feet shoulder width apart - with knees slightly bent - spine straight (as if suspended from a string in the sky) - shoulders down and relaxed - relax into your feet (feeling 'rooted') - arms in front of thighs (out about an inch) - eyes focussed on an object straight ahead - mouth slightly open - tongue pressed up against the roof of your mouth - focus energy on the area around the navel - find your balance using that point as your center - slowly and deeply breathe in through your nose - as you breath and fill the bottom of your lungs up to the top, allow your arms to be raised effortlessly until they are directly in front of you (shoulder height, perpendicular to your body) - hold for a moment or two (without actually 'holding' your breath) - exhale slowly and completely through your nose from the bottom of your lungs up - allowing your arms to be lowered back down to the position in front of your thighs (but not touching your legs) - let your wrists and elbows lead - let your finger tips be the last to rise and the last to fall as they follow your wrist. Do this three times - feeling grounded - 'rooted' - into your feet while feeling your spine is suspended by a string from the sky - center yourself over your navel area - your center - your dantien. Remain centered, rooted, up-right, relaxed, empty... smooth, flowing movements that become ONE movement rather than many movements. Relaxed awareness.
This is what I now know: Plant a seed too deeply in the ground and it will not be able to reference the sun for upward growth . . . In other words; when I go too deeply within myself, I get lost and can't always find my way out. Sometimes things are what they are. And sometimes trying too to hard to "self-reflect" in a well that has run dry causes one to fall in . . . i.e. indulging oneself in the "what ifs" of the long ago, far away events of the past.
He said / She said: The history of all times, and of today especially, teaches that ... women will be forgotten if they forget to think about themselves. Louise Otto
Note: The painting of the rose called: FAITH by artist: Linda Paul
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Name your dragons . . . then slay them.
But I've put names to their faces. They have grown on me. They are a part of me . . . of my life. They have been with me for so long and I don't know how to live without them. They never leave me alone . . . abandon me.
Over the years, I have learned each of their needs. I feed them. I pay them attention. I keep them safe.
My dragons are my pets.
But, I must move on now. I am packing up my boxes. They have grown too large for boxes, and I can't afford the cost of keeping them any longer. No dragons allowed where I am going. No dragons allowed.
I feel a sadness. I feel an emptiness. I feel afraid to go on without them.
What will become of me without them?
What will I become without them?
How will I recognize myself anymore?
Who will keep me company when all else fails?
Like a baby must leave her blanket . . . a child must leave her teddy bear . . . a girl must leave her dolls . . .
A woman is leaving her past . . . all she has come to know . . . all she has believed as truth . . .
All she has lived as real . . .
This woman must leave all of those things . . . it is time.
Potions, Lotions and Magic Charms: Rock and Roll, a couple of beers and lots of packing tape! Call it a kinky spa treatment - anything for beauty!
This is what I now know: Sometimes starvation hurts deeper and kills quicker than a sword.
He said / She said: Despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, I have not been able to answer... the great question that has never been answered: what does a woman want? Sigmund Freud
Monday, October 08, 2007
I am LEARNING how to fight for my life.
I am learning HOW to fight for my life.
I am learning how to FIGHT for my life.
I am learning how to fight for MY life.
I am learning how to fight for my LIFE.
I AM LEARNING HOW TO FIGHT FOR MY LIFE.
I am learning I am worth it.
Potions, Lotions and Magic Charms: MUSIC: Music is music for the SOUL and from the soul.
This is what I now know: Air heals better than bandages.
He said / She said: "I am a woman above everything else." Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis