Monthly Archives: February 2012

giving voice to chaos….

i’m all over the place today yet i want to write….sometimes i wait patiently for my world to align and sometimes i just stomp around and curse impatiently demanding that my creative flow return so i can do the thing i love and sets me free….

i see an image and am struck….struck by the thought that it doesn’t have to be what the writing forums and publications say i should be, this is about the freedom of my soul….

if the DBT therapy is correct, i must radically accept myself which i’m surmising at this point includes the fractured, chaotic one….she paces and wonders why she hasn’t been allowed to speak before and why the hell does she have to be someone different just to get a voice….let her write and speak as the shattered person that she is…let her out!…why do i so often fail to recognize her?….i have buried her for so many complicated reasons….

the image shakes her to the core, she sees the cracks in the woman, feels them, her spirit oozing out of the wounds….she knows she’s shattered and is socially unacceptable….her behavior is erratic, anxiety ridden, ready to pounce at the slightest energetic bump in the forcefield around her….

i must accept her….totally and completely….see the cracks as a place for the light to enter….a beautiful thought that i must incorporate….bringing the parts back together….i must accept her and heal her….i pray for the strength and vision to see her as the incredible spirit that she is….

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changing love…

Like running water, changing love finds its way past obstacles. Freezing it in place makes it fragile, rigid, and all too likely to shatter.

 –Martha Beck, How to Know It’s Real Love

I’m gonna keep this simple today.

I like to think  that being grateful for the vast array of coping tools has created a fortuitous space for another tool to come my way.  I’ve subscribed to Martha Beck‘s daily quotes for a while now, but have just in the last month taken the time to read her books.  I’m barely 50 pages in to the first one and I can already tell I’ve found a new friend.  Her books will be on my bookshelf and her tools will be in my purple tool bag in addition to the many fabulous people, animals, resources, books and music that have so serendipitously plopped in my lap.

My own emotions are tough enough to manage but when I smack against someone else’s confused and erratic energy, that is the ultimate challenge.  Especially if its someone I dearly love.

The complexity of my past and present propel me into an instant state of frozen terror. I’d barely read her quote, as in minutes before, when my daughter arrived, confused and frustrated. So keeping the focus on myself, the DBT  kicked in and immediately sensing the tension in my body, the frozen stance, I frantically begin to observe, describe and participate….3 biggies from the DBT world.  It worked or at least its working.  I’m not frozen, perhaps a bit off center but not too far gone that I won’t recover soon.

I sit in awe of the masters that surround me and say a quick prayer with gratitude in my heart.  It feels so good to know that love can find its way past obstacles.  We aren’t static, we aren’t frozen, we aren’t shackled to the patterns of the past.

Relief washes over me as I realize for a brief and fleeting moment what true hope feels like.



a month of letters….

I fell in love with this idea the moment that I saw it on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog and knew I had to participate in this forgotten, time-honored method of communication.  A month of letters challenge. I can’t even remember when I sat down and wrote an actual letter, probably 30 years, maybe more.  Even though its appeal has many layers, I jumped on an exercise of mindfulness combined with the ultimate slowing down.

I also immediately knew who the recipient of my letters would be. Seeing that it is close to Valentines Day, this all fit together perfectly demonstrating the message of  love and caring that I needed to convey to my friend Becky.  You see, her mother has recently been placed on hospice and as the days pass by, it requires more creativity in finding ways to help her family while going through this type of experience.  Heartfelt gestures seem to be the winners.

For years I’ve shared my flowers from my very abundant garden from early spring jonquils through to the end of the year mums and sunflowers with Becky’s mom. Her mother Grace, was always that, graceful and elegant.  She loved each of my amateur arrangements and would care for them until they were finally spent, then she would wash the vase and have her daughter return it to me for more.  And there always were more until now, middle of winter, I have no flowers or foliage to offer them in her true hour of need.

So they will receive letters.  An entire month of letters, maybe more.  I’m not sure how I could simply stop in 30 days, this must be a project that continues through Grace’s decline and passing as well as the mourning period and beyond.

Each day Becky comes home from her day job, exhausted but determined to continue the care for her ailing mother,  it is a devotion that is pure and patient.  She changes clothes, feeds her dogs, gets her mail and heads over to her mother’s home to feed and bathe her, play cards or sit in the surreal horror of watching her mother trying to breathe.  This takes an amount of focus mixed with acceptance to dance through this minefield of emotions.  And so far they managed to dance with Grace.  

I mailed the first card today after discovering Mary’s blog.  At the very least, my friend will come home to a daily card from me in the mail.  It will probably contain a photo of a dog nose to nose with a cat or an equally funny expression.  These are her favorite types of images to share with her mom, those of animals, babies or flowers.  Before she leaves for the evening with her mother, I hope to give her a small break in her day.   I don’t know that it will be enough to turn away sadness or grief but I’m hoping a glimmer of hope or a smile.  

I will also mail a card a day to Grace, knowing that Becky will faithfully retrieve it from her mailbox and share it with her also.  Hers will contain photos of flowers, its all I know to do for them now.



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