Friday, May 29, 2015

abiding ... (finally, friday)

Patience is not my default setting. Yet everything seems to be conspiring to force me to practice patience (which means bouts of raving impatience followed by the exhaustion of temporary and grudging surrender.) I don't believe there is some script I am following, so much as life offers me the opportunity to create meaning out of otherwise random and indifferent occurrences. I am in charge of choosing which pieces I will use for this jigsaw puzzle. Case-in-point, observing a baby grackle bird being fed by its mother reminded me I too must remember to receive nourishment and more importantly relax my hustle to bring it to me.  Beautiful message, right? 

Well, a day or two later, Cowgirl came to tell me a baby grackle was caught in a bush. Or it was hanging dead in a bush, she was a little uncertain and I immediately told her to leave it alone. My experience has been when I rush in to "help" I often bring about the very outcome I am hoping to avoid. Now, it did pass through my mind "What the hell message is that about trust and support?" But quickly I let it drop. I mean, it may not be the same baby bird (but probably is) and it might not be dead but temporary stuck. Which is fitting for how I have felt these past few months (stuck, not hanging dead although the image of the hanged man in the tarot deck has been with me a lot lately.)

So I let all notions of ill-omens drop and continued through my day.  The next day I went out and looked for signs of the baby bird and except for a little poo, there was nothing there. So either he was stuck, but freed himself (the version of the story I'm going with) or an animal in the night cleaned up the crime scene which has a poetic message of the circularity of life in there somewhere.

Where am I going with all of this? Honestly, I'm not sure why this story bubbled up today. I admit being in a space where there is much on my mind, but lacking the words or the desire or need to excavate any meaning. Which is perhaps the point: sometimes there is no message, no meaning. Sometimes you have a leaky dishwasher that floods under the cabinets and floors and you don't realize this until the mold starts to grow and then you discover a mighty black mold situation on your hands (and in your kitchen) and now you dance around a giant hepa-filter fan that blasts the pictures off of the walls never mind the sound and the floors get ripped up and the cabinets emptied and no dishwasher so drying dishes stacked over the remaining counter top space that isn't cluttered by the contents of the cabinets now homeless and it is such a giant mess that forces you to either descend into full depression or laugh your ass off at the way life is stranger than fiction and no one could write this without it sounding hokey but it is all true and it IS my life. Right now. 

So I give up and relax into this cluttered flow. I stop trying to make sense of my life right now and instead decide to start living it again. Baking pies (in disaster kitchen no less)

and sewing Owl pillows (because owls started the whole chain of events in my reconstructed history)

 and joining Cowgirl at the neighborhood pool (oh yes, school got out a week ago? Isn't that crazy?

and I even accepted that our kitchen will probably stay this way until sometime in August as that is the earliest date a contractor can fit us in.

Accept. Surrender. Relax into what is ...

And then marvel when out of the blue (honest truth) a contractor stops at our house because he was the one who had installed all the wood molding and shelving and he always liked our house and thought of it as unique and now is looking to build his own home and was wondering who did the design or if we designed it ourselves and hey,he saw us home and he had a moment to stop ...

And now he may be the one to help us repair our kitchen and we are to contact him in week and he even sees a way to repair the cabinets without having to rip everything out. So we have a contractor and he has our spare set of home plans.  

Circularity of life ... 

Trusting and waiting for whatever is forming out there to make its way here while I abide in my own slow simmering so I am ready to meet it. Which is to say, meet Life.

Meanwhile ... I keep my eyes, ears, and heart open for the next piece I wish to add to this puzzle of mine.

Friday, May 22, 2015

sacred shit ... (finally, friday)

I kid not ... it had been one of those weeks (that was quickly turning into two weeks and showed no signs of losing steam

let's see ... I hurt my back, then I was sick with my first cold in years, then we discovered a leak in our dishwasher that turned out to have deposited water under the adjacent cabinets which wicked up the moisture and began to rot and mold(!) and sun apparently went on a walk-about leaving us with cold, rainy, damp days (and days ... and days ...)

The going was rough my friends, and the only option left to me that held any crumbs of hope ...

the horses ... or more precisely, the therapeutic work that is cleaning stalls a.k.a., shoveling shit. (actually, the poop isn't so odious, it it uncovering and drying out the noxious pee spots ... some of these horses excel in hiding dribbles and puddles under seemingly pristine bedding. But I am a master pee dowser!

This place has been my salvation. Just one morning (and many, many many buckets of sacred poop later) and I not only feel Spring returning to my weary soul, but signs abound that indeed, vitality and hope are in my cards and in my future.


I am a believer once again. Oh, there was a moment I had my car keys in my hand, wild-eyed and frantic to escape (and I still might, renovations on the kitchen have not yet begun)  but the heaping dose of sunshine and horse love are enough to keep me going. For the time being. Fortunately, I can always run to the barn when things get rough and know there are friendly faces waiting for me. And stalls to muck. Always, stalls to muck! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

plot developments ...

It was a long night. Just as evening descended, she found herself suddenly in the center of a hay fever storm. Pawing at burning eyes with one hand and applying endless stream of tissues to staunch nasal flooding, she lurched through the hours before bedtime. Then she snatched at the battered and probably out-dated box of grocery store brand allergy medicine, searching fogged memory to recall if it ever had been effective in the past.

"Your nose is really red," observed the astute Girl Child. Still, she soldiered on with bedtime reading interspersed with nose blowing and open-mouthed gulping of air. 

Lying her left side with hopes of freeing a clogged right nostril, she drifted to sleep only to wake up to a slow, steady trickle of cooled snot inching its way towards the pillow. The only thing worse than snot running down the face is rolling over and finding one's cheek resting in a freshly formed puddle.

There was a midnight panic to open the blister packaging surrounded ineffective pill which, when finally freed from its plastic cell, crumbled before she could get it into her mouth. Frantic but ever-hopeful, she swiped moistened finger across the bathroom counter and sucked the crumbs of medicine from her finger and stumbled back to bed and an anything-but-restful sleep.

Let's add hormones to this story ...

I seem to have a voice-over narration playing in my head, one which discusses me as a character in a developing novel. Overwhelmed by life, yet tenacious and determine, she is unable to tackle cleaning up her life so she documents it. 

Yes, I am contemplating a series: breakfast dishes/365.  

She then retreats to the shower where she huddles under the steamy spray waiting for a thaw to occur.

Today it was handfuls of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint soap repeatedly pour over my chest.  The label reads Magic Soap and magic seems to be the only option available to her right now.

The thing is, don't we all at some level perceive ourselves as characters in a story?  Donning roles, living out archetypes, feeling trapped by character descriptions? Am I playing the victim or heroine? Or underdog? Tragically flawed or comically inclined? Am I seeking meaning? Redemption? Or is this an Absurdist's play with all bets off? 

Yet if I am a character, then who is the author of this Donna Quixote story? It may be my saving grace - or my fatal flaw - but I do believe part of my business of this lifetime is to create meaning out of the raw materials handed to me. Which I suppose includes me as semi-raw material. Once in a workshop I was asked "Who are you?" To which I cheekily replied "Whoever I choose to be."  

And that is my work at the moment: deciding who I choose to be at this stage in my life. 

It's not easy.  A dear friend just wrote to me about how the tide seems to have turned in her life with clarity and flow appearing on her horizon.  That is not my current plot development.  I had a moment of dizzying darkness when that truth flashed upon me.  

I do not know where I am going, who I am becoming, or what I am called to do. Now is not a time for action or forward movement as much as I am wired and yearning for something to do.  Now is a time to sink deeper into the truth of living, which apparently means time for me to grapple with the truth that duality just doesn't cut it for me anymore. Life or death? Purpose or purposelessness? Meaning or Mystery?  I sense my place is to found in between or perhaps embracing it all. 

Every day I head outside to make my prayers, yet I admit I haven't a clue as to what I want to say. HA! I was about to write "suppose to"  ... and that is the issue.  Weeding out  "ought to"  and "suppose to" in order to find the driving truth within my life, my story.  So I pray to be able to discern the messages of my heart; to speak and act in harmony with love and flow with the spirit of the Universe, of Life. I pray to know my truth and to be brave enough to trust and follow it. I pray for ease within this darkness and I give thanks for the many bright lights that provide cheer and hope.  

Most of all, I pray to stay the course.  There is something I've been circling all my life and now is the time to go in deeper. I don't believe it is something to be understood but to be experienced, lived through. It feels like rite of passage, an initiation to be experienced and rather than me integrating it into myself, I am the one being woven into something larger, broader and more elemental. 

I don't know what to do because there is nothing to be done ...

sigh. and so the story continues to unfold ...

... and dishes continue to stack up as our dishwasher broke and the new one died after just two loads ...

Friday, May 8, 2015

strange days ...

Every morning I come to my laptop, fingers hovering over the keyboard waiting for the words ... which seem shy or stubborn depending upon the mood of the moment ... and the moments have been moody of late.

Today I type because, well, it feels like a gesture of moving dirt away from my mouth ... of clearing something out of me even if it is only mental dust balls and emotional grime. As I sit here, the Husband is mowing the lawn while a dozen or more barn swallows swarm around and around the yard, apparently gobbling up insects disturbed by the mower, but the scene is reminiscent of something out of HItchcock's movie The Birds. Given the ominous feel of Spring prairie skies, the effect is unsettling.

I recently told a friend that I think I am being rewired at a cellular level and all I can do is drift through my days as energy is being diverted to this deeper, internal task.  I suppose it would be fair and okay to say I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed by it all, a little ... well, yes, okay ... depressed. 

My 95 year old aunt died earlier this week.  While not unexpected, the news had the impact of the final straw. I mean, really?! I think it is fair to say Death, move on now and give me a break. I know, Scorpio Moon and deeper lessons on the meaning of life through understanding death, but enough already! 

It is not surprising that on top of all of the emotional blows I've somehow strained my back and am wincing and moaning through my days and nights.  Then there are the severe storm warnings (we got off lightly with only 4 inches of rain in one evening; areas south of us are underwater) and toss on some crazy hormones and good times are being had over here my friends.

But I keep on truckin'. I keep turning my face towards the light ... planting seeds, starting my herb garden, baking (crazy how I ease grief through baking), and grabbing my camera. Returning to pictures is my way back in to noticing, looking intently, and living life prayerfully. 

There seems to be only two choices: to close myself off or to open and receive, to say "thank you" not to the losses but for the gains, for all the memories lived and shared, for all the opportunities that were taken, enjoyed and celebrated. If there is anything I've learned from my aching back (which always leads me back to my yoga practice) it is the understanding that I can hold both sorrow and joy, discomfort and ease, depression and play. 

I went to the barn yesterday, unable to muck out stalls but I could sweep the main corridor which meant I got to mingle with all the "residents."  It could be the lack of restful sleep, but it seemed to me each horse greeted me with tenderness and care. At each stall I seemed to be greeted by a warm muzzle breathing into my back and each time I stopped in my work to close my eyes and savor the warmth and the force of so much aliveness and vitality.

The most difficult griefs,
ones in which
we slowly open
to a larger sea, a grander
sweep that washes
all our elements apart.
(excerpt from The Shell by David Whyte) 

And so I putter on ... fumbling my way through these strange days, attempting to stay open, to trust my heart and to trust when I need to widen my perspective and when I need to lean closer in. I remind myself there is no manual for this ... no right way to grieve, no easy way to transition (into what? I'm still not sure!) and in fact the discomfort and the break downs are indications that change is afoot.  And being alive means being in process, continually evolving, changing, becoming.  I choose to embrace that ... Every.Day.As.Best.I.Can.