Friday, December 30, 2011


         I've been silent a long time, yet I haven’t moved away or gone anywhere.  Nothing major has happened.  I have stayed in the same place, letting the world and its petty obligations rush by me or swirl around me.  This blog and the treasures it held by reaching others was sitting quietly, patiently while I tried to catch the spirit, the whirlwind of seasonal stuff. 
        One new “thing” I have in my routine is a “smartphone” of which I still have many doubts about its worth.  One big surprise was that because it is Google enabled, when I downloaded the book app a long lost book I purchased over a year ago was waiting for me. It was The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. I had given this wondrous book as a gift to many friends, but didn’t get one for myself.  Google had just started its ebook business and I wanted to try it out. Easy to buy but didn’t perform well on my ancient ereader. Long forgotten, until now.  It now greets me every day, and I can read a few words of inspiration once again.
        He had months ago talked of silence between friends, and that it may reach a point of feeling as punishment or rejection. Well, that hit a guilt nerve. How do I get back to friends when I have been gone for an uncomfortably long time?  Then I opened the passage for today, December 30th, “We Are the Earth” He spoke of the intangibles as the deepest things: doubt, faith, confusion, wisdom, etc.  Not anything to be held, yet they are the very things that shape our lives.  We may spend years trying to gain wisdom yet the paradox is that after all that time we seem to have less to say. Nepo made a great analogy about that:  “Silence doesn’t diminish what we have to say. Just because sound always ends in silence doesn’t make the music any less precious.”  You know that feeling after the symphony ends, what joy spreads through your soul! 
        He goes on to make other points about how we become what we seek, yet this one comparison hit home.  It made me not only realize that the silence between friends in a blogosphere, or a sister friend miles away, or even that lump snoring on the couch can still possess precious value, but also that their silence gives us a chance to let their previous sounds become part of us. We then find that we do become what we seek.  And our lives are once again shaped by those intangibles of acceptance, love, comfort, peace, passion.  

Friday, December 9, 2011

MErry Christmas?

     After spending a week away from home on a trip only my husband wanted, eating out 3 big meals every day, and suffering from my usual traveling bloated-ness, I am quite literally “full of myself,” and I do not like it!  Notwithstanding, another birthday marker snuck in here, and I spent my day seething over the fact that my ancient cat has decided that my laundry room is now her extended cat box. It was a day of Poor ME and so I poured another glass of wine (along with my whine), toasted myself and got busy mopping up the mess. 
    While I was gone, I thought more about writing than really doing it, and I felt very guilty that I was not making time for my writing routine. As a consequence, the ideas dried up, and I started looking for things to substitute (devotion books, inspirational ditties) that I could borrow with due credit, of course, until I got my writing mojo back.  What would others would think of me if I'm not clever and witty once again? 
     And like everyone else, the holidays are drowning me.   I am stressing about what to get everyone, when to get into that nasty crawl space to drag out the decoration boxes, and how to get it all done.  I’m to the point of just shucking it all, declaring it a go-gift zone Christmas so I don’t have to think about it. Bah Humbug!!
    This selfish rant has a purpose actually. What these past few days have taught me is that I have been the center of my thinking. Look what I have done for everyone. Look what I am planning to make our holiday better. Look what I am doing to sacrifice my time to make everyone happy. No one else is making the effort to clean, cook, decorate, so I HAVE to. Look at how unselfish I am! Looking back on this first week in December, I thought that I was starting a most unhappy month, but there have been really wonderful moments already. Sharing a phone call with my little brother talking more than an hour about great grandparents and our thirst for the past; a small ladies brunch I enjoyed getting back to finding out how they were doing after my long tense absence from the group; a belated BD celebration with close friends; a delightful couch-talk with my daughter catching up after being away; a call to my sister laughing about my escape from the house to avoid the cat; a funny text exchange with my son. And also, just letting go of my fear of not having anything else to write and just get back to being in touch with all of you.  All of these could have been just as whiney and self-absorbing as my thinking before, but one difference, I was not thinking of myself as much as I was enjoying the company of who was with me.  
      No doubt I may slip into that gown of ME a few times more this season, but I hope I quickly remember that I didn't like how it fit. It's good to be back into the soft comfort of YOU. And by the way, how are YOU doing?