melting light across
pulling yellow rimmed
toward the sun
melting light across
pulling yellow rimmed
toward the sun
These days I have a lot of time to think. And think I do. All this thinking sometimes leads me to see my world completely the opposite from the way I used to see it. Maybe it’s like when you get way close to something, then it may not look like the same object at all. The perspective is distorted, but not necessarily in a worse way.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who can’t help but think about our past. I’ve gotten beyond tearing it up and regretting it, and yet, it still passes through my mind. I turn things over and look at things and pull them close, and lately when I do, I’ve started to realize that maybe some of the seemingly disruptive, hurtful things I did, really had the right instinct behind them.
And all these years later, those I have walked away from, I can now see didn’t have the staying power to be near me anyway. They moved on easily, while I still am working my way through it all–alone.
But the other thing I’m finally grasping is that there will be some (maybe only a very few) that will stay close for the long haul. Some of these may only make themselves apparent after a long time or suddenly, but they’ve been there all along. Some are with you every step of the way. These few are the true ones.
So looking from a different angle while we brush off the detritus that our minds have built around our past, maybe we can see it all from an organic place. Or maybe someone else, someone who has been hiding in the shadows, will appear to remind you that it’s OK.
Either way, stepping in close and twisting the past at a different angle can be the peace you need for today.
Tis the season for jing a ling and tra la la. Lots of shopping and running around. Too much Christmas music, tinsel and glitter or gathering for Hanukkah gelt and food of all kinds. Or whatever your holiday is, this is the time of year for…well, distraction.
Many of us may find much of this holiday season annoying: too much traffic, too many crowds, too much stuff and just plain too much consumerism. The holidays seem to have gotten away (in most cases) from what they were really supposed to mean and what all the symbols are meant to represent. I bet in many cases folks don’t know anymore. It’s just become: buy, buy, buy and rush, rush, rush and what’s on sale. They may know the basics, but unless you are deeply entrenched within your religious community, it’s all just Hallmark nonsense.
It’s exhausting and sad and often stressful.
But this was the first year I had an insight to it all. Because the world has become such a harsh place and each year it only seems to get worse, maybe we all need this nonsense. Between the natural disasters and man-made horrors of the world, I truly believe we all suffer, on some deep level, from a global/connected/deep-seeded depression. Most of the time when we tune into what ever we tune into (our preferred media source), it’s some new calamity bombarding us. All year-long we must endure hearing about our fellow humans suffer, or our planet dying or animals being exterminated. It’s a wonder any of us get out of bed at all.
And then, along comes the holidays. Time for our own little fantasy world of tinsel and glitter, pretty lights and toys. And even magic and a crazy man, elves and reindeer bringing happiness to the whole world. And even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you may still have your own holiday celebration within your own religious belief; one that brings your family together, one where you can remember better times and get time off from work.
All these holidays have one thing in common: they help us remember our past, not only our personal one when we were young and things were simpler and maybe happier; but our human past. That’s why they were celebrated in the first place; to acknowledge an important event in history.
And the days when many of us are celebrating our respective holidays on those special days specifically set aside for these historic days from our past, we are not thinking about all the terrible things going on presently that usually occupy our minds. This may be the most important gift of all.
For those precious moments at least, we can let our hearts and souls fill instead with the sounds of our families, children and homes (after the rush and stress have died down). The smells of cooking, the visits from those we haven’t seen, the familiar decorations all give a sense of well-being and safety. These feelings may be rare for us these days. So we lap it up in the swell of the holiday tide. This is the part we take for granted, the feelings, but this is the part of life we are missing every day in this painful world. This is what the holiday season gives us. Positive feelings.
So, for the first time in many years, I say: go ahead and enjoy. Play the incessant Christmas music. I get all the lights and sparkly stuff. Sure, I would still rather people not buy so much ‘stuff’ because it’s not good for the world, but I do understand better why they do…it’s for the feelings they produce. But mostly, I just understand the whole ‘thing’ of the holidays more this year: instead of global depression, it’s global jublilation.
Maybe that’s why they call it a magical time of year.
is the silence of the room
with the shadow light
like a shroud
to cover what’s gone
where memories scream
and eyelids darken
is hearing every sound
near and far
for the stillness
of it all
cousin once removed
in a family
lathered with space
Finally I have landed a wee job that fits in perfectly with the criteria I had listed in my head (I hope). It’s been a long and interesting year experimenting with various things while waiting to find something, but hopefully this will work.
It’s nothing much really, but that’s part of my plan. Just a little PT position in a very small Charter school working as a lunch monitor.
So here’s how it fit the bill and my way of thinking:
So all in all, I hope this works out. My fellow employees in the lunch room seem nice too. I have no idea how I will begin to memorize the names of all these children, but hey, I’ll figure it out.
And I’ve already ordered special ear plugs that will hopefully block out some of the major noise, but allow me to still hear them when they talk to me. (I mean it is REALLY loud in this tiny room!)
But I have to say, we never lose parts of ourselves… Because as I look around at all these kids eating and talking, and eating and laughing, and eating and being silly— the paramedic in me can’t help but think:
Just keep chewing, swallowing and breathing… NO CHOKING allowed!!
a few rungs
short of happiness
But as the fire breath
singe neck hairs
It is quite an
There are moments when time is on my mind…I mean BIG time, the passing of time, forward time and backward time. And I sit in this middle of this time contemplating it.
Often, while I am waiting for time to pass because it may appear to be dragging along, I suddenly snap awake and realize this is a foolish notion. The reality will be that the present will be gone and become the past so quickly, that I will end up wondering in those present moments why I wanted those moments to be over in the first place.
It’s quite clear now that once certain things are gone, they are gone. The moments cannot be replaced in a future moment. Yes, the future may hold some new contortion of the past, but not what we may have wished away or that time simply left behind.
Yet ‘being present’ is almost an impossibility as time is not static. It is forever slipping on before us. So while we may stand still in the this second, time doesn’t wait for us. This struck me then: if it keeps loyally moving forward, and appears to at break neck speed as I look back–that I should probably stop encouraging it even more.
Instead, it may be best to just settle into time and let it do its thing. Don’t fight it anymore, because it’s a losing battle anyway. If changing my perspective and understanding that it really is all relative anyway will help me through challenging times, then so be it.
Because as I look back on so many of these times in my life, I am simply amazed now how far in the past they are and how it all felt like just a blink of an eye.
I was in the presence today of a dying person. No, not like you and me–I mean actively dying. We are all dying of course, but this is part of my hospice volunteering, my first day meeting with my new patient.
It’s not at all like being a paramedic because we aren’t given much: only a name. No diagnosis, no real history, no nothing. Of course, I’m not your average volunteer, so I can deduce some things. But, I’m not there to fix really. Only to sit. And maybe to provide some small comfort, maybe some smiles and to help a caregiver get some respite.
In this case I am reminded how much we can tell by someone’s eyes. They may not be able to speak much anymore, but their eyes speak volumes. And maybe they aren’t able-bodied any longer, but it is easy to remember that this same person was someone else, someone before they were dying.
They were like you and me: laughing loudly, arguing, dancing, quilting, walking around, loving, working and most of all–living.
It makes me wonder why people spend time while they are alive wasting it on unhappy things. On things that upset them. On things that they can never reclaim. On people who will never care enough. Why I did.
I need to spend more time living while I’m dying. Because we never know when it will be our turn that the dying will become active. Or maybe the living will simply stop.
When thoughts start to clutter my mind now, especially ones that take me away from the present, this is my new mantra:
I am here now; I am alive; I am healthy; I am grateful.
“Extended bliss is boredom of the existential kind.” from the book NutShell By Ian McEwan.
Climbing the dreams
of my best reality
caught on a film
reels of wanting
Needing to step into
dripping with all