It is in the quiet that I seem to remember more of the feelings. When it is quiet, and my mind is still it all comes flooding back like water cascading down a mountain. There is a crack in my soul. As I sit here with the sun streaming in over my shoulders, feeling its magnificent warmth on this chilly November day, I am reminded that it is the anniversary of your memorial service here in the city where we lived, and I still call home. I always thought it was odd on the day of your service that your body was on a jet bound for New York for yet another service and burial in your hometown. You were already missing.
The days of November are usually sad ones for both our son, and myself and we hold onto a deep grief, a bond that forever holds us hostage to the pain, the cost of loving. You ceased to take another breath on the morning of November 5. We held a service for you here on November 9, and on November 12 we buried you next to your mother and father. My son and I returned home to an eerily empty house, and on November 20 he turned 13. Then the holiday season kicked off in full gear, but I could barely hold my head up to acknowledge any of the joy.
Today my body aches with some of that familiar grief, and I know that our son’s does as well. I wish I could turn back the hands of the clock, just as I did moments ago when I adjusted a missed clock in accommodating the switch to daylight savings time. I wish I could turn back the hands of time in order that my son would not have to carry this heavy grief mantle for his life. He struggles to know his father loved him. He struggles so, and he has every reason. You had a chance to make things right, and you failed him and you failed me. I don’t know if either of us can ever truly forgive you. What I do know is that for both of us our grief is a mixed bag. One moment we cannot recall the sound of your voice and want to see you and miss your laugh terribly, and the next moment we are angry over what you did to our family. He carries this burden more than anyone. How could you do such a thing to a boy on the verge of manhood? It wasn’t enough that he had to make the journey without a father, but to be pinned under the weight of not being acknowledged. I have tried in a thousand different ways over thousands of days (more than 5,000 to be precise) to make it right, to make it up to him, but I can never give him your blessing. He is always looking to have his heart healed, but there is a crack. . . and that is how the light gets in… there is a crack in everything, and that gives me hope.
Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
Balance, defined as a state of equilibrium. . . mental steadiness or emotional stability. And yet, it seems to be the one thing many of us lack, especially in these times. Of course, one could pose the question that perhaps we humans have always had an issue with balance, and that is why we historically have sought things like religion and more to feel like we have achieved balance. Balance is something we all have access to inside our selves. It is our choice how we react to a situation, to another’s words, etc. This is not always easy to achieve or maintain, and that is why we practice each and every day to be in balance, to live in harmony with nature and other human beings. This quote is an excellent place to begin this practice. I invite you to hold this thought as you move throughout your day. Namaste.
Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
Love is knowing I am everything,
And between the two my life moves.
Why are we all so afraid of change? We cling to the familiar, even when it no longer serves us. We don’t want to open the box as it might contain darkness! We all want things to remain the same, keep the ‘status quo’. However, our world has changed. It has changed from its climate, to the policy values of its politicians. The Earth cannot sustain its current human population, and yet we live in abject fear of making any change to our lives. While watching the attached video about fear and change, it resonated deeply in my core. I wanted to share it on my FB page, and yet I did not for fear it would offend some of my conservative friends. I did not want them to feel any discomfort. In fact, I hold in my mind and heart what one friend shared about how her mother ‘unfriended’ people who shared any political opinions on FB! Could she be on to something, should we simply be using this platform to share cute photos of puppy dogs and kittens? Should we just share our light moments, and keep the rest to ourselves? Perhaps. However, for me life is messy, and it is real. If I don’t share some things on FB, be they what I deem to be well written articles, to following certain politicians, to conservation groups, and more, all of whom are out there attempting to make a change, then what good am I doing to uphold our fragile society? Or is it keeping our society safe and is it enough to simply like puppy dogs and kittens? What I do know is that yes, I am still sitting here in fear. I am also trying to make the right decisions, trying to be kind, and trying to share love from my heart. This video resonated with me, and I want to leave behind my fears. What about you, how does this video make you feel?
After all, I don’t see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood. ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
This is one of my favorite paintings by a new artist I recently found, Helen McCullagh from Australia. Her paintings are happy paintings, and they create (for me) a sense of wonder and amazement. Anne Morrow Lindbergh is a favored poet, and these words create an internal reflection of gratitude. Life is all about gratitude, and that is often found in the simple moments. When we can find and hold gratitude for the small things, we are able to push through some of the darkest moments we experience. If you are sitting in a dark place, I encourage you to look up and out, even for one brief moment, and find something that might create even a glimmer of gratitude. One foot in front of the other, one moment at a time, stopping to take a breath in between the lightness and the darkness that make up both our universe and our souls.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet . . . I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. ~ Jack London
Sometimes these words are difficult to follow, like when one is sitting in the overwhelming grief of loss, or you are going through rough times with a loved one, or . . . the list is endless! All of life can be a rough time if we allow it to be that way. Or, we can acknowledge our pain and suffering, and then attempt to get back to the business of living our life. There is no road map for how long any of it may take, and I would rather not judge anyone on his or her path, but remain on my own. I have suffered the depths of loss and had my soul rattled, yet somehow I found my way back to the light. I love this quote in that it serves to remind all of us, use your precious time wisely and make the most of your life. Today I will attempt to live fully. My hope is that you too may shine like a superb atom and never lose your faith, hope, or joy for living.
Poets always inspire me, especially when I am feeling sad and alone in this vast universe. Mary Oliver is one of the finest, and I often share her poem, Wild Geese, in my grief journaling classes. My hope is that it touches your heart today, and that each of you reading this poem know you belong. We are truly all interconnected. Let love lift us all.