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Take me to the gentle place

I nestle, under white creamy down

In the forest there is not a sound

white continues to fall, against my skin,

In wooded wonder, it is still winter.

Oh peonies under tarped and bagged clothing

I am praying for the morning

when your wonder and my wishes will rise

from the wicked winter cold.

You and I

take me to a gentle place

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What about me? Thoughts from a pity party.

So I am a voice, one of millions calling out from the pockets of peril that are known as our lives. We awaken every morning, some of us in the back alleys of a major city, some of us in the forests, some by the oceans. We are a race of people, created by a GOD who “knows when a sparrow falls.” We arise from soft beds of grace and mercy, rising up with the first thought being “What about me?” Oh it may not be exactly the first thought, but believe me it rears its ugly head at some point in every single day. We are selfish creatures. Even when we are “doing good” we are, somewhere in the back of our minds having an unconcious agenda. Even if that agenda appears to be righteous (like orphan work, or our family first, or whatever we perceive to be good works on this earth) there is a pay off somewhere for us. It’s our selfish nature. “What’s in it for me?”

The world as I see it has gone mad. It is people free-falling in their “safety nets” they call life. They think they are fine, controlling the circumstances of children or jobs or marriages to maintain their comfort zone and then one day the net breaks (illness, infidelity, a child rebels) and where do they go with the pain? “What now?” is the thought of the bewildered. “Why me?” “What did I do?” Not to insult anyone but we in our highest glory are tiny little minds of selfish thoughts. We are never satisfied (not really) always seeking, always looking outward to conquer the next mountain whatever that might be. Missing, missing the gifts that are right in front of us. Birds singing, flowers blooming, dogs running, children laughing, food on our table, hot water in the shower. Gifts and blessings..unmerited blessings. Yet we whine, complain, blame.

So I am rewiring some truth into my day today. I am choosing to breathe deep breaths and turn up the edges of my mouth and look hard into the strangers eyes and if I see need I am choosing to inquire after them. Yes, there is A LOT for me to focus on that is scary and hurting me. From health issues to government to relationships, but for today, I am choosing to be aware of grace and gifts and blessings I so take for granted. So those What about me thoughts? Well, I am choosing today to ask instead “what about you?” What can I do to ease a burden in your life? What do you need today?

I think, the answer to that and every stinkin problem is to take our eyes off of self and allow love to be our highest goal. Tiny steps of loving thoughts, which lead to loving actions. Are you holding a grudge? Clean it up. Are you withholding money for yourself while people are dying of hunger? Give it away. Are you absorbed in your circumstances of no mate? Take the love you long to give and go volunteer your time to others. Obsessed with your bad marriage or relationship? Choose radical acceptance and find one small way to bring love back to the person who has let you down. It’s a peace gesture, an olive branch, quietly extended with a smile.

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Notes from the second story(Daisy)

On my chest bone lay the daisy. There was something so promising in the dead of winter, laying across my heart, her face lifted and her petals soft. “My daughter” said my mom, “Is no rose.” she looks at me as I begin to react “You, are a daisy.” My mom never told me she loved me, she never held me tenderly, she just called me a few things that stayed with me. “A whore.” was one thing “A daisy.” the other. The longer I live, the more I see my Universe expanding. I can see myself seated in a little white church with a cracked bell, I can see myself flying above the village on wings that sing. I am a mystery of words that hang in the air and turn cartwheels in my mind.  I can still see her standing as straight as an arrow, with red nails on long fingers. I can still feel my heart beating in my chest, hoping for her touch.

In the end I bathed her. I felt her fly away with a flock of geese, that February day. I heard my father cry out. “No, oh no!” I wanted to wrap him in a cocoon, shelter him from his fractured soul. I feared he would leave with her. I feared I would be the only one left. I didn’t know what to do, I just watched my band of family  gather around him and weep. I stood as I always do, a little to the right of where I should be. I had leaned in and asked her to fly away, right before she did. I said this to her after a lifetime of indifference and raised voices of critical expressions, an occasional head banging on a wall, a slap, a grab and a tight squeeze while being dragged.  “If you ever loved me, you will not die on my birthday.” Her gift to me that day, the day before I was born, 59 years later, she flew.  The geese came over her hospice bed and she was gone. I felt her leave. I didn’t cry that day…nor for years after, not until today, when the daisy lay on my chest and I heard her say “you are a daisy.” I will take that to mean I loved you. In the language of flowers I loved you. In the creation of designer dresses and a touch to your eyebrow, I loved you. In the way of a sack lunch, or a freshly ironed shirt, I loved you.

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe all these years of never thinking she loved me at all, she did and now it’s too late. I am breathing deeply, pushing back the pain. My lungs are breathing in disappointment. I am not supposed to dwell on the negative. I am not supposed to entertain thoughts of pain. Not any more. It needs to be the language of colors and flowers and balloons that float on wicker seats in the forest. Anything but the pain. Don’t stroke the well-worn path of loss. Remember this new day dawning is a gift. Ignore the pain in muscles and in marrow and in memory. Turn your eyes upward and take a breath and breathe in goodness and breathe out the darkness of history. Blood and skin and bone history. “Nothing to see here folks!” moving on.

I awaken in the dawn, sweating and throwing off blankets. My dreams were about a man I know in spirit, but have never met in flesh. He writes, I write. We stand in solidarity against something unspeakable coming. We fight with words. He actually speaks volumes by saying very little. I have read enough about him to sense a kindred. We are serendipitous. I kiss my husband good morning and wonder why the dreams are about someone far, far away. I wonder what that might mean. I roll over and see the daisy’s my sister gave me for no particular reason. I pluck one out and lay it across my heart. The scent is summer and the memory takes me down the rabbit hole and back up. Use the neuro training you are learning to stop the falling. Take back the ground and smell the daisy’s . Focus right here, right now on your flesh and blood husband who smells like salt and can make me laugh. Focus right here, right now on the new day. Count the blessings. Electricity on the wires above.

 Let it be.