Doing Wrong


Sometimes we do something wrong to someone. Sometimes we know we do, sometimes we may not. How the other people handle this can be completely different.  And those differences have completely opposite outcomes for us.

I’ve been thinking about only two of those ways in which people deal when I have done something wrong–or even have ‘supposedly’ done something wrong. I say this because in one case, I don’t even know what I did.

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In that instance there have been a couple of times where I had very dear friends that just stop being my friend without any explanation. Even though I tried to find out why or what I may have done to illicit this behavior, I never could find out why. This, of course, is disturbing and hurtful. But eventually, something we must move on from.

The second is where someone doesn’t let you forget something that you’ve done wrong and continually reminds you. While they still are your friend, family or whatever–it can come up in conversation when you least expect it. They haven’t let go, completely forgiven or whatever, even if you may have apologized. This, while is slightly better because you are still communicating, can be difficult. It’s a constant reminder and keeps you both stuck in the past.

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I guess in the first case, a simple explanation would help. Everyone has the choice to move on from a friendship. But, to me at least, it seems kind to tell the person why, especially if you had something invested in your relationship. And the second case, once you have discussed the wrong doing, we must try to put it behind the best we can and not let it keep staining the present moments.

Of course there are many more times where wrong doings are completely forgiven and we go on even better because of them. They enrich our relationships because of giving us insights to each other and all our facets. When we can love all of someone, even the not so perfect, then that is really an honest kind of love.

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Sailing Ahead


For more years than I can remember I have been a single woman. It was by choice and something I needed to do to sort my head, my soul and myself out. Much of my life before these years had been rafting through relationships, on a craft that was unsteady and often leaky. I tried to navigate this flimsy raft through oceans far too rough and rivers overflowing their riverbeds. It often left me on some shore half drowned. And of course any passenger unlucky enough to be my mate, usually was left drenched and overwhelmed by the tsunami that was left in my wake.

But somehow, it seems now I’ve paddled out of the storm, onto a lake of glass. It is smooth and my sense of direction seems clear. I am ready to sail again.

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It is so difficult in our times to find the right sailing partner to journey into the unknown. Even once we’ve learned to love ourselves and to steer our lives, finding someone who can meld their course with ours, seems like finding a lost ship under the ocean. It’s there somewhere, but the vastness makes the likelihood seem so impossible.

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So unlikely that it seems that magic must be involved (as I refuse to do the internet thing). Today I picked one Tarot card to see if a partner would be in my future one day again. And lo, I got my favorite one: the 10 of Cups. Just seeing it you can almost guess that it is positive! Depending on where you look, it has different meanings, but I got it right side up and my book said simply: Contentment, lasting happiness because it is inspired from above rather than being the sensual satisfaction. Perfection of human love. Great friendship. Lasting success. Peacemaking.

So, I guess I will take that to be a yes and hopefully my ship will eventually float into the sunset. And maybe I will eventually pick someone up along the way to sail with me.

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Poem: Sweet Lies


How many blown out wishes

just climb onto the curling smoke

and float away

I have breathed hard into my dreams

forced my diaphragm to believe

that blowing would make it true

The melting wax proves my plight

but the cavity left empty by sweet lies

leaves me wondering

if any of them

ever came true


 

If People Were More Like Dogs


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They would take the time to play more

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They would spend less time gossiping and more time listening

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When they were afraid, they would just go hide for a bit instead of becoming bullies

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They would take lots of naps so they would always be well rested and not stressed out all the time

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They would love other species like family

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They would smile more

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They’d be OK with their bodies

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They would learn to wait patiently and to trust

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And to forgive and forget

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They would learn to love those different from themselves

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And that love is unconditional

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That you just walk away, rather than fight if you get angry

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And that territories are defined by sniffs and pee not walls or bombs

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That most of us aren’t purebred anyway, but we are just as wonderful

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That everyone just wants a home

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That we should save our voice only for the important things

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If when we were frustrated, we took it out on our own stuff, not other’s….

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That tongues are not for lashing, but for kisses and we are each unique in our own crazy way

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And if our lives were as short and precious as theirs, maybe, just maybe we would live more fully, play harder, rest more deeply, love more expansively, trust more easily, be careful not to destroy stuff and even share all we had…. For they are gone so quickly, but leave with us lessons that we carry forever.

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So they will continue to play

And we will continue to struggle

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But maybe one day we’ll tip our head close enough to theirs so we can really listen to what they’ve been trying to tell us all along.

 

Time Warp


Do you ever feel like you’re back in time? Like some situation, smell, place or song brings you back to a place you once were long ago… This weekend has been like that for me on a couple of occasions.

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The Time Warp Man

Yesterday, my Mom and I decided to go clothing shopping together–in a consignment shop, which I have to say we’ve never done. But once there, I was immediately transported back to childhood in NYC, Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s maybe–my hand in hers, picking out school outfits for the first day of class. I’ve not been clothing shopping with her for many, many years. And while yesterday, we were pretty much in our own bubbles, picking out clothing for ourselves, it still felt reminiscent of those days.

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No Tweeting here!

When I tried on a cute little red coat and asked her if she liked it, and she said no, I took it off and hung it back up on the rack. Because, she is after all, my Mom and knows best what I should be wearing on my first day of school.

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Looking cute.

And I’ve been trying to avoid looking in the mirror lately, as the passage of time has not always been good to me. My hard-body runner image no longer stares back at me these days. It’s a sad sight to see now. But recently, I’ve decided it’s time to take time back into my own hands.

So, I pulled out my old running shoes and dusted off the New England road dirt, slipped them on and well, off I trotted. I wouldn’t exactly call it a run–more like a slow lope. My intentions were to do the loop as best I could and stop and walk when I needed. But to my surprise, while my legs may look flabby, my lungs are still young and carried me the whole way without stopping!

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They did me proud! 

While I jogged along, I warped to so many running days–gosh, years and years of them: the smells, the sounds, the wonderful deep breaths. I truly love running and was so sad when my body failed me and I had to give it up. But maybe, just maybe–if I’m careful, and now that I live where it’s flat and warm, I can slowly bring it back into my life.

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Just look around!

Time warps come with a whiff–our olfactory system is one of the oldest and most powerful. It will trigger a memory in our brain’s limbic system. It’s a beautiful thing that nature created. So we could find where food once was maybe, or who was an enemy, or family. Like a flash, we are carried to a place, just by a smell.

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Enter the gate to the time warp.

How many times have we had to sit in our cars because a song came on–and we were back in high school–dancing with our sweet heart, or feeling broken-hearted because it had been ‘your’ song, the one where they dumped you.

Until we can beam up and be transported like in Star Trek, I suppose we’ll have to make do with our time warp memories. The trick is to be tuned into our triggers: so breath deep, listen carefully, look with eyes wide open and have a nice trip!

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Let’s do the time warp! 🙂

The Oldest


The other day I received a wonderful surprise in my mailbox. It was a late holiday gift from my oldest daughter. There were a couple of gifts, including a great picture of her with her boyfriend and a lovely necklace. It also contained an amazing card.

You all may say: well, this isn’t so amazing–a daughter sending her Mother some gifts and a card for the holidays. What’s the big deal? But you see, it is a big deal–for a number of reasons.

Yes, many daughters and mothers have their issues, and my oldest and I are no exception. She had some pretty rough issues as a teenager and I ran myself through the mill wondering how much had been my fault. We became pretty distant because of them too. But she’s not a kid any more, closer to 30 than 20 and as my mother has been saying for years: by the time she’s 30 or so, things will change. It was hard to believe…but now I am beginning to think it may be so.

She got through her tough times pretty much on her own. Moving far from home and scratching out a life (with help from me and my ex too), and is now an amazingly successful young woman. It has been an incredible thing to watch. But the really beautiful thing to experience has been the slow and steady mending of our relationship. For this is what I have truly mourned.

So when I received these personal items…a necklace–a piece of jewelry, something she hasn’t given me for years and years, I was so touched. And the saying that went with it was clearly thought out and matched with where I am in my life right now, something she clearly sensed. In fact, I wore it to my new job today, feeling rather lost and unsure. For it is a tiny compass and reads:

“Go confidently in the direction of your Dreams”

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And so I shall….

You all can see what the card says on the outside, but inside my baby wrote:

“Dearest Mommy! I’m so proud of you for following your dreams & finding happiness. I love you always and forever.”  H

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In most cases it’s supposed to be the Mommy saying these words to the kid, but this kid has already followed her dreams and gave me the inspiration to follow mine. And well, that last line…if I ever doubted her love before it seems I may have been imagining things. One thing I do know: I never stopped loving her…and I never will.

 

Too Close


Sometimes there are moments in life where if we stand too close to something they become distorted and ugly. The looking at them make them turn into something we do not recognize, maybe something that was once familiar to us. It’s like approaching a glittering thing and realizing it is the eye of the venomous spider lying in wait–that eye’s reflection meant to draw you in to its unexpected web.

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These moments can change us, make us too into something different from who we were or wanted to be. Maybe they frightened us or saddened us when we discovered that the treasure or beauty we saw from a distance was instead only a drab landscape when standing on the edge of its topography. Then the widening sink-holes appear or the quick sand to gobble you beneath hungry earth.

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From afar it’s hard to judge. But close up every blemish, hair follicle and true bit of ones convoluted character rears its ugly head when two circle one another like ritualistic beasts. It’s easy in the wide open prairie or dense forests to ‘know’ your fellow wanderer as they slip in and out behind branch and stone or up and down sandy dunes. It’s when caught in the close confines of a culvert and trapped unable to leave that one learns that friend may become foe.

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Blurring ones eyes and keeping the world as an impressionist painting may be the easy way out. Taking the risk and standing face to face with another or hiking far enough into the horizon to break down beauty into minutiae may hold no gifts in the end.

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Or, if by luck, the one looking back holds your soul–or the minutiae hides a gem, then maybe it was worth the risk.

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Golden Footsteps


Last night I had a dream about an old boyfriend. Our relationship was odd and rocky–just like much of my life during those years and many of my years prior to my move. It gave me pause, and I began to think about it while doing my yoga and meditation.

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During my meditation I had a sort of vision. One gets in a rather trance-like state at times, and I guess I was ripe. In my mind I saw a shadow woman walking during a dark, stormy street. There were trees blowing, lots of rain and dark blue. But in the distance there were these footprints that were illuminated in the darkness: a path to follow. They lit up as this woman was ready to see them.

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I wish I could paint, because I could see this so clearly in my mind! It seemed to encompass where I have been and where I am now.

My past so often felt as though caught within a dark storm, with my paths unclear and being battered by the debris coming at me. Walking in the gray left me weak and hungry for the light, but my eyes had become unaccustomed to seeing it any longer.

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But somehow I reached the eye of the hurricane–the calm place and from there was lifted out. Those moments allowed me to find the golden footsteps, those brightened by my own need and will. It seems as my eyes adjust, another appears….

So as I follow them out of the tempest and into garden, they may fade into the sun itself. And then it will have to be something else that guides me I suppose, something from within–then again, maybe that something already does….

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Misty Memory


I met him last night in a room shuttered and silent, painted with gray and gone wan. He was middle-aged handsome, his chin dappled with careless hair. Around his mouth were creases when he smiled that showed he had known joy in life. His eyes a mystery, my memory failing–or maybe I sunk into them drawn by their depth.

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We talked and laughed. And I had some project to perform–a photograph etching this moment in time, this man. But rather I revealed parts of myself, both physical and others, sinking within, to parts I had not gone in a long time.

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Somehow it seemed right with him, this man, in this deep and precious place. I let go for a moment, tasting again that feeling and wondering at it.

Then, he left for the night and the shadowed light returned. I arose from my bed recalling the visit as his misty memory disappeared.

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The Open Gate


My father has been visiting me quite often lately. This is quite an interesting phenomenon given he has been dead a very long time. In dreams he has come visiting, though foggy memories as I awake, it’s clearly him–warm and wise. This is unusual as I rarely had dreamed of him before my move.

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A door seemed to have been opened, a gate to my subconscious thus allowing an ancestor to cross over into my realm. What smoothed the way for this meeting and caused the crack that let slip the apparition to appear?
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When an aperture is created, whether actual or unintentional, it gives the opportunity for its opening to allow entrance. If the gate is purposely opened and we welcome whatever is on the other side, then we are prepared for our guests.
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But often this may not be the case. A hole can happen suddenly in our lives, unexpectedly due to an unforseen accident or illness. This creates a gap that opens the floodgates of fear, anxiety and depression. Then the uninvited visitors may march into our deepest self and take residence without our permission.

Sometimes a planned change in our lives, like my own move or a divorce, can surprisingly pry open parts you might not think. My sweet, new relationship with my Mother is now tender and loving. It catches me at moments where I find myself overwhelmed by it. This passing through has put me on the other side where I have always longed to be.

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These wells, doorways, keyholes can be tangible or deep within our souls. Maybe we dig them with shovels and spades or instead they can be created by a diagnosis or footsteps walking away from us. Either way, we can ultimately decide to walk through–welcome the ancestors, walk over the threshold and see the gate as something to open, not slam shut.

So look for your openings, guarded gates,  daring doorways and hold in wonder what may be on the other side. For maybe they were flung wide beckoning you to enter the life you have yet to discover!

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