Melancholy and the magic

When I recall those last days, I lack vivid memories, or a flow to the days. Rather, its disconnected memories: Sis in Poland, me later off to the Hamptons. Figuring out how to handle an ER admission – passing each other in the night. My boyfriend moving in.  A freak storm and a tree falling on my car. Working next to Mom’s hospital bed. Interviewing a potential new employee in her nursing home room. Life stood still and life went on. Such is the paradox of death while trying to remain alive.

I don’t remember who attended what service. Partially because less than a year apart, in the same season, we welcomed friends for Dad and then friends for Mom to say goodbye.

I remember making the announcement to please sing at mass per mom’s request. I remember my best friend, her new baby, and her mother coming down and bringing light and levity the repast.

I remember the priest saying something irritating in the eulogy referring to Mom’s dementia – almost making fun.

There are fragments and shards and somehow woven together but don’t make a holistic view of those days & one month leading up to everything. But anything traumatic can affect our processing.

Mom, we honor you today. It’s incredible how much I’ve missed you this year and these last few months. I am often amazed by the dance of melancholy and magic that happens when I miss you.

Such as it was this morning. I had “things to do” but listened to my intuition to get out in nature. As soon as I hit the trail, I was enamored my the beauty of the light hitting the evergreens, cascading down to the dirt. I’m overwhelmed by presence and love and sadness, feeling so incredibly connected to this world while missing you in the depths of my soul.

It’s bittersweet. It’s a sad smile. It’s a belly laugh with eyes glassy with tears. This is the journey of death too soon, of grief and of loss. And I still find that paradox shocking and beautiful at times.

So, I’ll eat some ice cream in your honor, cuddle some babies, hug dear friends and family, meet a new puppy, while I’m feeling like 3 years ago was a lifetime ago,  like yesterday and somehow an experience that occurred outside of my body, my everyday life.

I miss you more than I can express right now- and I’ll bring that love to all I can.

Oh, Mom.

There will come a day.

There will come a day, where the TV show you loved ends. When your favorite author no longer pens a new novel to read. When your favorite ice cream parlor closes forever.

 

These pieces of you are shattered glass. Mostly catching the rays of the sun and beaming them back to me. But sometimes, just a few times, they prick and I bleed. I hurt, just because of the connection these things have to you, dear Mama.

 

The show- you loved it because the extended family came together every Sunday to share a meal. The author- she was a local girl, overcoming adversity with her passion for writing. The favorite ice cream shop- a simple chain in our hometown. Our place.

 

Sometimes I partake in these joys, forgetting the connection to you. Other times, I feel you so present.

 

But there will come a day when they cease to exist. And I do not welcome the rush of that moment.

 

Because- there will come a day where some, simple, easy connections to you are taken away. When the novelty of a flip of a channel, a page or the joy of an ice cream cone no longer bring your memories rushing forward.

 

Perhaps, it’s because we are meant to create new one. New memories, even with your physical form gone. “Mom, you’d love this wacky new flavor!” or “Can you believe he decided to act in that movie after 10 years on such a different kind of show?”.

 

But.

 

At least there will come a day where I see you again. And until that day, dear Mama, I seek you out in many corners of this world. Until there comes a day…..

Found you, Mom.

I found you, Mom 🙂

 

First in a tour in the underground of Portland. How you LOVED learning, especially about local history. I realized halfway through how much I share this trait with you. You were with me in the Shanghai tunnels, the riverfront, and even the learning that the ‘seamstresses’  were really ladies of the night.

 

Later in the day , after palling around shops and bookstores in Nob Hill, I realized there were Redwoods. REDWOODS, Mom!

 

28 years ago, we went to Yosemite for one of your big birthdays. I don’t pretend to remember, or want to count back to which one JBut it was my first time on an airplane, my first time out of the Tri-State area, and first time in a National park. All things I now love.

 

You wanted to see these majestic  beings. I don’t know why- but we went.

 

So, in my red and leather jacket, ballet flats, I took a city bus and landed on a closed trail. “Rats, I thought” and my tired soles cried “no”!

 

But good old Google maps found another way.  A road,, through the forest could take me to the “redwood observation deck”. Round and round this road went. Sigh.

 

Then a trail. Then others to follow.

 

Soon, it was like Fern Gulley opened up. Down into the depths of the trail we went, only to be overtaken, over blow by the sheer beauty of these redwoods.

 

 

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Spot the little people!

 

They are magic, Mom. You are right.

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I sat on a stump. Took in the view let out my breathe and sobbed. Because I found you, Mom. In your majestic redwoods.

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You are always with me, but this was an altar, a church, a holy space for us. I felt you reminding me to keep on this path of loving myself, so deeply. I recalled when you pulled in me, when I was angry about my sleeplessness and tried to push you away. And as that gremlin has crawled back to me now (insomnia) I smiled and loved you more.

 

Mom. Mom. How could I ever love you more? Even in missing you, I am filled with immense gratitude for you- for bringing me into this world and not leaving me alone in it. How I wish I could have shared these big beautiful trees with you….but oh, I KNOW. I definitely did.

 

Bring us sunshine, bring us ways to love & heal our selves, bring us patience, dear Mother. For I miss you, and love you. Amen.

Being lost and being in the now  

5/20/19

 

It’s ok to be lost. Because I want a journey, an adventure, a love, of a lifetime.

 

I let go of the distraction of a false & temporary security now for the unplanned path- the inspired life.

 

Anxiety rises up.

 

I meet her. Observe her. BUT I am not her. She appears because I’m birthing forth this new way of living- one more from the soul & intuition – not from my beautiful, logical mind. You may appear, I will welcome you- but you will not be given center stage. Nor do I think you will be a constant companion.

 

I step forward with a bit of trepidation- but mostly excitement.

 

I stick my feet in the green wet grass of growth, grounding me. Earth beneath my soles. In this moment, (this one now), here. I’m not lost. I’m right where I need to be.

 

Only this step matters. Not what I think today the ultimate destination may be- that may change. So I remain present to the now, this is the moment, the only one that matters. This step is what I am called forth for- let go of all else.

 

This love. This radical self love, it’s eternal. It’s for me.

Perspective in crossing

“There isn’t time for a hike”, says the ‘productive‘ often dominant corner of my mind. But the sun was peaking out from a sky becoming more mired in grey clouds, and the for the foreseeable future, rain was in the forecast. “Come on” I said to only myself, “everything you need to get done can be done in the next rainy days”.

Off I went to a wooded walking path in my town. 20 minutes, I convinced myself. Then you’ll get back to your to-do list.

Below is a photo of what it looks like the first around. I looked at this crossing knowing I wanted to be deeper in the woods but I can’t see how to get across this without becoming wet.

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So around I went. Walking, breathing, thinking, just being in the beauty. When my mind rushed to the next things to do today “No, I said. Be here. Be in the woods and in THIS moment”. Why wish away our lives?

20 short minutes later I came to the other side of this creek. I could see the small, stone path in the upper right of the photo that I hadn’t seen before. What had changed?

A matter of perspective-  the stone path was so clear, so easy to now see.

In life, we often come to crossing we feel we cannot manage or cross. But with a bit of time, and pivoting our understanding of the challenge ahead, we see a new path. A new way across.

With these two elements, I no longer had to forge an unknown trail, but rather step on a few well placed stones that someone ahead of me on this path, had laid down. Suddenly, from a new angle, how simple it all seemed. And what a triumph I felt!

Perspective. So important, so crucial and how easily I could overlook you.
May my steps me guided, my travels light. May I remain true to this moment, placing my mind with my body in the present and not so far ahead in the future. Amen. 

Permanent

Nov 29, 2018

Sometimes, it’s as if everything in life is written in permanent ink.

What is permanent is my truth. I am who I am . Beautiful- outside and inside my soul. Creative , joyous, amazing me. Where I live, what I do, who I am friends with or in a relationship may change- but my purpose, does not. My truth does not.

In my hand, now is a pencil. I put down the belief that all choose are permanent.

This is freedom.

This is having fun with my life.

I am. I am. I am.

Active waiting

I don’t love “waiting”. But I do see the difference in ‘active’ waiting vs. passive or “I’m frustrated why is this happening to me/ why is nothing taking off / why is it not the right time” etc.

Who know what skills I truly need for my future? Perhaps certain lessons are giving me the opportunity I need to be even MORE of a boss than I currently am.

 

But the waiting is me time. It’s the restful, soul filling time. Why rush it?  Oh yes, I know, because I, we, want to be ‘there’. But as St. Francis so wisely said “the journey is essential to the dream“.

 

Waiting is the cocoon. Waiting is the mental & soulful work before the crews for the TV makeover shows arrive. Waiting allows space, a gap to form from how we operated in the past to who we are becoming.

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Oh listen deeply. You are not any less you, any less amazing in ANY stage of life. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin says “We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new”. But, loved ones, we can’t.

So perhaps the bigger lesson I’ve found in the waiting is to love myself. Love myself deeply, fully, radically in this moment. And in this moment. This one too. Because we are wonderful, amazing and worthy just as we are.

Take this waiting time as peace. As rest. As a gift to give yourself- in love.

It will come. And enjoy this time of actively waiting. For it is worth it.

7 years of silence.

7 years of silence.

I am grateful for the long, life changing 7 years where I did not talk to an ex-boyfriend. The heartbreak was intense, my first major one. After a year and half of long distance relationship, he choose to move even father away. To the wrong coast. The wrong choice, in my heart broken eyes.

This was also compounded by the fact that my mother had just been given a diagnosis we all suspected- Alzheimer’s. It certainly was a time for loss and upheaval in my life.

 

 

But what those 7 years brought me? Today’s moment. One, in which I shared so much with someone I used to deeply know, and in doing so, realize how much I have changed.

 

I thanked him for the time- even though I may have needed less. I learned to let it go, to forgive, to sit with it and push past the hurt, the old narrative of that story- and honestly I’m not sure if I could have rushed this.

 

By reconnecting so many years later, I was able to see myself differently. He had last known me as a free, passionate 20 something. Now, at the verge of mid-thirties,  I am so different. I’m learning to let go of perfection and expectations. To go against what feels like my own grain- of excessive planning and plotting so that life turns out ‘perfectly’. I know I am actually coming back to my true & deeper self, but I have spent years operating in a way that once “worked”- be good, be as close to perfect as possible, be successful, be productive, because this is your worth. (It’s hard to change.)

 

So after sharing how I have taken a year off, and that I’m trying these new mindsets on for size, his shock was palpable! “Who are you?!?” he cried as we laughed about it. Who were once were.  And it was uplifting for me.

 

Wow. How I have changed. I love myself more, am more comfortable with myself, even as I still seek to know more. I see that certain ways of living no longer serve me. I’m peeling those old layers off, finding the tender center.

 

But I also missed the dreaming that he and I used to do. Of where we would live, what our futures would hold – where life would take us, maybe we’d be lay missioners in a foreign country with our kids!

 

I didn’t realize that I don’t dream as much. Or without expectation that it will actually happen. Just to envision it.  There is something dead in my soul that doesn’t always see life as exciting, or interesting to live. But talking to him about being missioners- that reminded me that life can indeed be incredible and fascinating.

I’m not sure why I have lost that part of me. Something tells me it is in death. The death of so many loved ones in a short time. My dreams stopped being in the forefront when I was preparing for the dying days of my parents.

 

There is no blame in this. Again, I don’t think I could have survived those years any other way. But I want to get back my light. My life. My zest & zeal- my belief that life can be unbelievable and adventurous. Right now. It doesn’t feel that way.

 

So that will be what I want for this year- to feel energized and enthusiastic about my life.  This might….this will mean taking risks. Not resting on my laurels, or past successes, or my worn brown couch. It will mean reflection, and action. Resting & new life.

 

I don’t know how. I don’t know where or when. But I know it needs to happen.

 

For 7 years, I needed that silence. And for my present, I needed the reminder of how far of I have come, and that it is time to pick up an identify scattered at the wayside- the dreamer. I have grown in beautiful & profound ways.

 

Truly, I can’t wait to see what is next.

Cousin moments

There are moments in life that tug at the heartstrings. And ones that I experience where my gratitude just soars in.

I am the youngest of 11 cousins. And the majority are nearly 20 years older than myself. Growing up, my Christimases were amazing, so many older cousins to play with and entertain me. But even by the time I was 5, the were less and less around, staying with significant others, or having moved out of state. I always missed that interaction with my cousins.

In the last few years, that connection has been renewed. My one cousin and I emailed about financial information and investing. We both love it and are self taught. And he knows that I miss doing this with my own father. We are a full country away, but send this information to each other!

Another cousin has a sweet 2 year old daughter and she has brought life and youth back into our family. I have stopped by there house just to play with her on multiple occasions.

Another cousin, we email about crappy sleep patterns!

Yet another, we had a conversation until 4 am in the morning after my sister’s wedding. Bonding about life, family, and all the hard things.

I sit here, so incredibly grateful for my family. Do we met up every year in one centralized location? No. But I am so grateful for the bonds that have developed and renewed over time. How much I need this.

Morning place

My morning place is important to me. It’s where I write, listen, and just settle in.

Until recently, I was not loving my set up. Just a little cluttered stand, with pieces of paper, old journals, and a collection of books.

 

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Now, I love it!

The painting above was done by my Mother’s dear friend. She now lives in an Ashram and I was able to spend a few days, including the 1 year anniversary of my Mom’s passing, with her. The bookshelf is new and organized. I have my books I’m reading, journals, and inspirational pieces too.

 

And I look out on to a small piece of the world. Often, there are little visitors.

 

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A few years ago, after Dad had passed, I sat on my back porch. Missing him so, I was staring out on the the patch of grass, two stories up. One came, then two, then three. Three bright blue jays. They immediately made me think of 3 family members who had passed. Without explanation or rationale, I felt a deep sense of peace & connection.

Growing up, we had a little can of miniature baseball caps. These were toys from the cereal box, but for some reason, I loved them. They had all the major league teams on them. My favorite cap was the Toronto Blue Jays.

So this morning place, its a gift to myself. A reminder to relax, to connect with who I am – just in this exact moment. It’s a place to feel- to remember those I hold & love so dearly. And its a spot where I often see reminders of my loved ones, my elders who have supported me so.

This morning place, it’s my beautiful reminder to breathe in this life.