My father and the sea……

I cannot separate my love for my father
from my love for the sea.
They meet and merge like the tides.

Each year,  when we were young,
despite his longing to vacation in new places,
to satisfy his thirst to explore,
he would carve out a week to gather by the sea
with my mother,   my sister and me,
and lean into the rhythm of the wind and the waves
that smoothed back the furrows of his busy forehead
and I’d watch his eyes go soft
to the soothing of surf and sound.

They relaxed,  those deep brown eyes,
because there was room enough,
and space and calm and time enough
to hear the light
and see girls in the sand,
even ones that were hard to see.

That great wide sky
and vast rolling water
un-pinched and turned my father’s face
and sometimes his eyes would find mine
and stay awhile.

I lived for those moments
when the sea and he would look at me.

I wonder at the power of fatherlove
and breathe grateful thanks
for love that looks and sees and smiles
and believe that my father’s love will find me always
as sure
as the shore
meets the sea.

“Fountain of sorrow,  fountain of light,
you’ve known the hollow sound of your own steps in flight,
you’ve had to hide sometimes,  but now you’re alright,
and it’s good to see your smiling face tonight.”
– Jackson Browne

Of curiosity and closets and the clothesline of things…..

I’ve been taking stock,
cleaning out the closets of what I think I am,
reclaiming some treasures and discarding what no longer fits.
It’s been carting off piles of what may have worked in seasons past
and infusing with sunshine fresh from the clothesline the ones I choose still to embrace.
There’s been sadness in the letting go
but this yummy, spacious joy in the after
and I feel so light about these roomy new digs that I want to share
what got refreshed and left behind to grow:

Who am I anyway.  A list:

~ I’m a friend.  A good one.

~  I’m a mother.  Not a great one.  But devoted,  wholehearted,  and I show up always
to the learning curve to discover,  listen and improve.
And I relish the climb.

~ I’m a lover of people.  Oh yes – love deeply and without apology.
I get caught up.  Smitten.
And I’m rarely disappointed.   People are mostly altogether
as beautiful as I first realized them to be.
Relationships may disappoint, yes,  and I’m learning to better navigate those,
but I think humans are almost always lovelier than even they seem.

~ I’m a codependent, recovering.  Always recovering.
But I feel the crazy like an old injury when certain triggers and fatigue wear me down
and I can stumble down those stairs so sudden
that I’m sleepwalking in the thick of habit before I’m fully awake.
I’ve wrecked a relationship or two this way.
Mostly,  though,  I reserve the lion’s share of injury for myself,
still often giving more than I can afford.
But I am in recovery, enthusiastically showing up to the work,
currently working a 12 step (CoDA) and getting some delicious freedom in the new.

~ Because, I’m a student.  Always.
Curious and unwilling to waste my living unexplored.

~ I’m a gardener.
It’s how I see the world.  I love the whole messy, unpredictable process;
– it feeds something deep inside.

~ I’m a seer…..empath…..intuit
– whatever you want to call a super-sensitive soul.
I feel places,  see songs,  hear hearts,
sense energies,  and sometimes touch the mystic.
I accept and often enjoy this,  and it also sometimes unravels me.
Such a paradox,  life.
(And,  yes,  so woo woo)

~ I’m a listener.
I love to know people.  To hear their stories.
And to be heard and known.
Assumption is the ugliest thing I know.

~ I’m a lover of nature,  lover of honesty,  a lover of God,
and a lover of words.
I’m a writer,
and diving deeper into the deep end of things I’ve carried
since I was only a girl full of dreams.

Someone recently handed me a box of darkness,  as Mary Oliver described,
and this indeed has been gift.
I’m getting clear about who I’m not,  that I am,  and what my own heart may be howling
above the music of the waves.

I’ll be back more now that our busy season is done and all the gardens growing happy.
So much that I’m bursting to share!

 “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this,  too,  was a gift.”
– Mary Oliver

“Over and over,  we are broken on the shore of life.
Our stubborn egos are knocked around,  and our frightened hearts are broken open
– not once,  and not in predictable patterns,
but in surprising ways and for as long as we live.”
– Elizabeth Lesser

Breathe deep from the brave to just be……

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Life is noisy right now.
I’ve got a rumble in my belly for quiet,
for shelter from the grating hurry
that seems to crackle like electricity all around.

I feel it in the air,  the shove to go faster,  to outrun the clamor
to shut out the buzz with my own frantic go.
But I’m defying it inside where I remember that I get to choose,
to dig in my heels against the push.
This feels like life to the bones and breath of me.

Yes,  I do have time to slow this train on down.
To pick up feathers and leaves and words and stones
and notice what they might want to say.
No,  it’s not irresponsible.  These are the days I’ve been given.
These moments are free and mine to gather.

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It’s brave to rest inside while the noise rattles on,
to taste and see and savor the mystery,
to press through the amnesia that settles over like a fog
and remember that we’re co-creators with a God
who likes to do the heavy lifting.
To find the partnership delicious.

When I pull up feeling empty and discouraged,
I often discover in the still small voice
that my ego has been driving.
Exhausting taskmaster,  that one.

I can break up again with the offender
and get back to the business of wonder,  breath and being,
to living out this life of one who tumbles and leaps and feels it all deep
in this dizzying, glorious wild.
~ To not draw back from the not knowing how.

To breathe deep from the brave
to just be.

110

“All I know is there’s nothing better than that wide-open,  opinion-busting,
all-things-are-possible,  everything’s-OK feeling of prayer.”
– Elizabeth Lesser

Sending this out to all your tired places
with a bold dare to slow down and find rest:)

A little love letter to my country….

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I love this country.
I wish I had a way to hold our collective hands, smile into each pair of eyes,
and whisper tender and strong,
“hey,  this is so not you.”
You aren’t defined by thisthe hurtful ads and jabs
and manipulative campaigns that saturate our feeds
until we’re forced to look away or go hard inside
so the poison doesn’t scald what we need to keep on living.

I want to plead,  “Do you see the children watching?  They can hear us.”
What are they taking in as we demonize and degrade the ones who’ve stepped into the arena
while we project our bias and turn down our thumbs with words increasingly lethal and obscene.

 I want to look over at the young ones and say “it’s okay,  we’re good,” and  then invite us all
to sit down together
at a table groaning with good coffee and wine and really yummy things
and make it safe to let our hearts speak,
to say our reasons and share our other-ness
without shame or defensiveness or assumption.

Because,  for the love,  we are spirit and bone and soul and skin
and it’s clear that this political machine doesn’t care who or what it grinds up
as it slashes through the airwaves,
feeding on our wounds and rage.

Much of what our eyes and ears get scraped across in the media
isn’t genuine news or even politics.
It’s emotional abuse.
So we  buy into the lie that there is a monster to be exposed,
goaded into to battle,  gladiator-style,  until the arena is soaked in blood
and even though it’s our collective blood that gets spilled
it’s okay,
because this is how progress is done,  yes?
No.
This is not who we are.

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I know smart,  big-hearted, wide-thinking,  and deeply feeling people
who plan to vote for each camp.  They really aren’t happy about this.
They don’t love their particular choice
but will make it because they see something in this specific platform,
among all that they dislike about the candidate,
that compels them to follow their heart and place their vote for this ticket

What might we discover by having meaningful conversations with our egos checked?
By engaging in inquisitive and respectful dialogue with other hearts
in order to listen wide.
By pursuing the meat of it,  not in debate,  but to hear the heart
of what is it that you want?
What is the hope that you are voicing with your vote?
By hearing deep their reasons and finding them maybe also valid

and worthy of respect.

Someone is going to win this election and our kids are going to have to find a way to function
in a country where a demonized-as-dangerous  figure head
has become their President.   We all will.
Will we be able to build and create more than we’ve destroyed and torn down?
I’m holding onto big hope that we will look back on this election as a tipping point in history
where we were shaken sober to become a civil, more noble society.

I’ll go and place my vote.
And,  yes,  I’ll likely throw up in my mouth a little bit while I pull the lever.
But I won’t give the political machine any more of my power
by buying into the hateful spirit it encourages.

Imagine a diverse community of people who respect the individual enough to listen and know,
rather than assume or reject or attack.
We will build this sacred space yet,  I believe…..regardless of who wins this election.
Neither of these candidates will save us.
But,  oh,  there is a field….

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.”
– Rumi

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 “If we want to know,  love and experience community,
if we want to be part of creating a more peaceful world,  we will work to understand this:
Either everyone is special,  or no one is.
Putting yourself or another human being on a pedestal
– making yourself or someone else right all the time –
is a sure recipe for disappointment or conflict or loneliness.”
– Elizabeth Lesser