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Thursday, August 2, 2012

We've Moved!

I guess we are moving if I'm being precise.  We bought a house and are waiting for escrow to close.  In the meantime we are staying with family which means lots of together time.  I'm just hoping that familiarity DOESN'T breed contempt.  We expect to move into the new house sometime between August 15 and 31.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Art n Soul

I love hanging around with creatives.  The energy exchange in a room full of people who openly create is amazing.  I joined in on July's Art & Soul meeting.  It is kind of hard to describe this group.  The organizers Mark and Wendy DeRaud have a mission statement.  Still I felt like I didn't know what I was walking into.  Typical for me when approaching any new group specifically religious ones, I went with a friend and I was ready to run at the first sign of trouble.  I got no trouble.  What I got was a lesson in listening, observing, and sharing.  Things can get uncomfortable when talking about art and religion.  The two were completely intertwined until recent history, but somehow along with the separation of church and state came the separation of church and art, and art and the state.  Art, once the high point and pride of a society has become bastardized by its former supporters.  It's as if in the divorce between church and state, art was the child that ended up surrendered by both.

It was not a gathering of "Christian artists" but rather a gathering of Christians who are artists. The idea being that all art does not have to be topically Christian in order to be valid or celebrate God.  The climax of the meeting was all of us together, sitting, listening to music while we were being open to whatever came to us.  We sat and wrote and sketched.  Praying or crying or just waiting.  Afterward some of us shared what had come to us.  There were many themes, some cliché and obviously inspired by the story of the music, others seem to have no connection to the evening's conversation, music or even what you might think of as traditionally Christian iconography.

The timing of the invitation was perfect.  I have been actively learning to listen and hear over that past year.  I will go back again next month if I can.  I plan to start keeping a journal.  Not of my daily activities or thoughts, but of what I hear.  My goal is to hear so many things that I must write them all down in order to keep track of them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Strange Days

I have been completely wacko the last week and a half due to what my doctor calls a migraine equivalent.  All of the fun of migraine with half the pain.

At first I thought I was just tired and cranky, then I got confused, my speech was slurred and mixed up, dim light felt like being hit with KC Daylighters, whispers were like megaphones, I was dizzy and throwing up.  Three days in I realized I had a migraine, Excedrin which usually helps didn't touch it.  Day 4 after some time crying on the floor of the walk-in closet I made an appointment to see the doctor.  Day 5 was the high point where hubby tripped on a toy xylophone in the dark and I saw a flash of light that didn't happen.

I saw the doctor and got more powerful medication.  Unfortunately the best meds stop the migraine, but very few treat them.

Here I am in the present, 10 days into a migraine.  Taking pain medication to treat symptoms that aren't painful.   Symptoms that I have been told could last a month.  I have tests scheduled, I am looking for triggers, I am doing migraine yoga, trying to relax, aromatherapy-ing, hot shower/cold showering, ice packing.  Communicating with the world through writing since my spoken words don't come out the way I'd like.

Normally I try to find the lesson and be positive, but this just sucks.  I am feeling better, but not great.

Oh, and my cat died.

Don't console me, just pray I feel better.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dear Double Rainbow Guy

I am not laughing at you.

Double rainbow guy is viral.

It bugs me.  I am a snarky, cranky lady who teases people to their faces.  Double rainbow guy is being laughed at all over the innerwebz.  I'm not laughing.   Why?

It's not funny.  If he were looking at an image of the Buddha, or Jesus, or Mary few would have found it so hysterical.  Double rainbow guy was having a spiritual experience.  Even if you think he's stupid or wrong you shouldn't be laughing at that.

I was speaking with friends recently about how we as a society are so uptight.  Why we can't "get filled with the Holy Spirit."  Why we avert our eyes rather than celebrating when people are having a moment with God and are vulnerable.  This is why.  If you openly celebrate your religion and your spirituality you are opening yourself up to ridicule.  It doesn't only apply to "religious" experiences, either.

I cry in art museums.   I stand weeping in front of works of art.  I allow myself to be moved and feel it as deeply as I can.  I have wept in the stillness of the redwood forest.  I have wept on ocean cliff sides as the waves crashed with violent force.  In the eyes of some people that makes me weird.  I am ok with that.

I am embracing the awkwardness.  It is strange to feel so immensely moved by something people might see as normal or mundane.  If I had seen a double rainbow I may have reacted the same way.  Uninhibited, openly questioning how I came to be so blessed to witness something so beautiful.  I would have been too afraid to share my reaction with people.  You can all see why.

Friday, July 16, 2010

How Deep is Your Love?

No matter how big my boys get I still get a catch in my throat when I hear their deep sleep breathing.  It takes me back to those first few days of their lives when I would strain desperately in the middle of the night to hear those reassuring sighs.  The sleep brings back that baby look to their faces.  Completely relaxed expressions.  I have to restrain myself from lifting them up and cradling their gangly floppy bodies.  I understand now why the old woman in the book "I Love You Forever" was still sneaking into her grown son's room to cradle him in his sleep.  My love for them is deep beyond comprehension.  Merely pondering gives me the sensation of standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon.  Wondering how anything can be that large.  As large as it appears the scale of it steals from us our ability to perceive it.  We only know that it is vast, beautiful, and have a great fear and respect for the danger something that massive poses.

Just as one does not test the depth of the Grand Canyon, one must not test the love of a mother, for it is a great and fearful thing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Turning in my cape

I learned a valuable lesson.  I am not responsible.  I can't save everyone.  Sometimes you just have to give up.

I imagine trying to save a drowning swimmer who doesn't know they are drowning.  They kick and fight and do everything to get you off of them.  Maybe they even think you are the one trying to pull them under.  At some point you have to give up or they will pull you down with them.

I am not responsible for the decisions of other people.  I can't make them see what they don't want to see.  I can't convince them of the truth if they have swallowed a lie whole.  I can't follow them down a hole they chose themselves, especially if there is a chance I can't make it out myself.

I can still hold out hope for humanity.  I can still believe that every drowning swimmer has the chance of rescue.  I don't have to be the one to save everyone.

The most difficult part of learning a lesson like this is the old wounds it opens.  My heart is broken.  It turns out it has been broken for some time and every beat was painful.  Over the years I have ignored the pain, it has healed over some, but like a broken bone that was not treated and must be reset the pain I feel at lifting and removing the scar tissue hurts as bad if not worse than the original injury.

From the outside my life looks that same.  If I were to tell you what happened it would seem insignificant.  That is how I learn.  I bear the brunt of endless small injuries until I look back through history and see volumes of small offenses, the weight of which I can no longer bear.  So I close the book.  I begin on a fresh page and start the story from today, but the old volumes remain on the shelf where I can see them, just in case I need to be reminded of what can happen if I let it.

I am not a super hero.  I am not the catcher in the rye.