Partly Gone

‘Exquisitely painful’ is the description I’d give for my memories of those no longer here. Those who have touched me deeply, inexorably, powerfully. What more meaningful offering can a being hope to leave as a legacy?

I am amazed at the clarity with which I can remember certain details: lyrics by famous and not so famous artists, dimples, deep conversations, laughs, smells. Sideways glances, smiles, tears, advice, kindness.

What do we choose to leave as a reminder of ourselves? How do we nourish ourselves and others? Who are we? What do we stand for?

My parents were freedom fighters – brave, opinionated, and committed to (what they considered) right action. They were fearless, loving, proud, and responsible. They are the people I would and have modeled my life after.

When individuals have passed you may think of them differently. More generously perhaps because they are missed, or perhaps because their better attributes are remembered.

I choose to grow into a better version of me, with a wider angle slanting toward loving kindness in thought and action, so that my children can see me as generously as I see my parents.

Legacies of love are legacies that bear repeating.

Happy holidays.

 

 

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Intoxication

Sometimes I am intoxicated by writing. An idea will gel, my fingers tap words across the keyboard and I am unstoppable. Before I reread, before I edit grammar and vocabulary, I am a mildly manic maniac intoxicated by words and ideas and expressions.

Then there are times when I am NOT intoxicated by writing. When I sit still as stone before my computer screen staring at a blank Microsoft Word page, daunted by the task before me, emptied, uninvolved, disconnected.

But then come those times when I have to write my ideas down  Рwhich, at least in that moment Рseem brilliant. The phraseology of my sentences, the topics of which I speak, the breath of song within. There are times when writing takes hold of my soul and flies with the angels Рall by itself РI hardly have to think. Words bubble from a well of depth related memories and I am moving at the speed of a gallop Рpages running quickly beneath my hooves.

The feeling is one of freedom, wind whooshing through my hair, eyes wide. My mind is a step ahead of the rest of me and my fingertips race to stay in sync. It is in these moments that I break through the wall of me, I rip through boundaries and visit the foreign that oddly feels familiar. I follow my thoughts fearlessly like leaders lead. I am somewhere else.

Life gets bigger and includes all of me, and I accept this. Before I judge, before I worry what another thinks, before self consciousness sets in – I am simply where I am, in the moment, with my self expression.

 

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Quotes of Worth

Each moment describes who you are, and gives you the opportunity to decide if that’s who you want to be.

Anonymous

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Quotes of Worth

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross

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Quotes of Worth

Have patience with everything that is unsolved in your heart and try to cherish the questions themselves, like closed rooms and like books written in a very strange tongue. Do not search now for answers which cannot be given you because you could not live them. It is a matter of living everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will gradually, without noticing it, one distant day live right into the answer.

Rilke

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Humanity

Who would think that death could bring out the best in us? Family members and friends gathering to support and nourish one another through tragedy. It is millennium old and community minded and, honestly, at peak performance, it is when we human beings behave with humanity.

It happens continually and often – the Columbine shooting, 9/11, the recent rash of devastating hurricanes, at a school in Newtown, at a nightclub in Orlando, at a music festival in Las Vegas. We offer blood, food, water, supplies, our money and our time.

Yesterday a small group of us gathered in a semicircle at a graveside funeral ceremony. And I noticed it again. Family members, friends, people I know hardly at all, and strangers. all in one place at one time with one goal – to help each other get through these tough moments. Humanity. With all the insanity and violence and senseless acts of terror we can forget kindness, get jaded, become cynical and protective, judgmental, angry and closed.

But the opposite reaction, counter-intuitive though it may seem, is the more appropriate one.

Humanity.

Shiva is the period of mourning following a loved one’s death.¬†During this time, family members traditionally gather in one home to receive visitors and retell stories of old, reconnect, and breathe. We are sitting shiva in my home for three days (traditionally one sits for seven) and we are spending time together. I do this for my stepfather who is a gem of a being and whom I dearly love. It is a low technology environment, we spend deep time, hug, stare, and share meals. A throwback to simpler times.

Let us remember what connects us more than what divides us. Let us breathe in the crisp air, swoon at the china blue sky and its rainbows, see the beauty around us, and be ever thankful for those we have loved, love still, and will love.

Humanity.

Whitsunday Islands

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KITCHENITIS

I’ve decided, after a great deal of back and forth, confusion, anxiety and excitement, to update my kitchen. Originally (the journey has progressed for many months) I thought I’d purchase and install new appliances only. But then the cabinets – custom designed, circa 1980 – would appear even more out of place than they already do. As would the Formica countertops and backsplash.

How much did I want to spend? How long would I be living in this house? Was the juice worth the squeeze considering the time, dust, and drudgery I would endure, to say nothing of the money spent?

Yes, I decide again with dubious conviction, it is worth it. We locate a kitchen designer. She is big and talks a lot, often about things other than my kitchen. Perhaps she’s friendly, lonely, maybe unwell. She starts wining about money, mine, which she wants immediately and signing contracts that involve my heirs and their heirs.

She’s aggressive and paranoid but it takes me time to shift my anxiety from myself back to her, which in this case is squarely where it belongs.

And then I, which I’m apt to do, start doubting my conclusions and instincts. Maybe I’m paranoid, and overly cautious?

In the world I inhabit, her behavior is neither customary nor endearing. I start to decode said behavior (a hazardous throwback to my ‘minor in psychology’ college days). She must have been badly burned, perhaps not receiving payment for work completed. She must have been treated unfairly. She must…

But why? Is she doing a sub-par job? Is she making careless, expensive, time consuming errors? Is she incompetent?

Whatever she is, she’s not for me. Since I’ve made the decision to go forward without her, I feel lighter, happier, less stressed. Sometimes the answer to making myself feel better is right in front of me. Odd how blind I can be to something ostensibly obvious. The other lesson is (I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve learned and forgotten this one!) to stop ignoring or doubting my instincts. I seem to have to prove their correctness before I take heed. Not the point of an instinct.

Besides my birthday is this weekend and I have everything to feel wonderful about. New kitchen or not, it’s time to celebrate and, my blogoshere friends, that is precisely my intention.

 

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