Posted in Gratitude

The Luxury of Time

Slowly, Luxury

Often I wish I could give the gift not of time but of the enjoyment of time. Telling everyone:

“Take pleasure in all that you do.”

Today so much time seems wasted on commuting in cars, judging the lives of strangers and trying to escape from a life without meaning.

What would it be like to live slowly? How much time would be saved if everybody worked within easy walking distance? If we only socialized to let others know when something big happened in our own lives and skipped judging strangers, how much more time would we have to spend loving each moment? What if we unplugged and relaxed by meditating in gardens instead of gaming and watching a screen, how much more awake, aware and alive would we be?

Digital Camera
July 2016

I am lucky to have time to sit under the shade of trees and hear them whisper of

the luxury of time and the joy of a life lived slowly.

Feeling the earth beneath me and knowing this is what connects us all more deeply than any words I can type.

 

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Posted in Gratitude, Spring 2016

One Noble Thing

Disappointment

Ironically, long before I made the Facebook post that caused my little disaster last week, I had started rereading “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” If you are looking for a series of happy children’s books with delightful stories about how a trio of children have one after another interesting and uplifting adventure do not read these books. It will be a disappointment. I remember well the first time I read all thirteen books from  “The Bad Beginning” to “The End.” I expected the end to be an end but it wasn’t. I was disappointed.

But if you are looking for a series of books to read that increases your vocabulary and understanding of many of the strange sayings used by english speakers, books that are both comical and all too painfully realistic at the same time, books that both explain and demonstrate the sticky tightrope between good and evil that each and every one of us must navigate daily, and if you are ready to accept that every end to a story is really just another beginning, that every beginning was someone else’s ending, and that there are some mysteries we can never solve, then I recommend this series as special gift. To me it is a coming of age series. It is about seeing things as they are instead of as we want them to be.

My daughter and I both read it when our family broke apart many years ago. Though we were separated physically we passed the books to each other and shared in the pain and frustrations of all the mysteries. It was a comforting way that in our darkest times we could both empathize with the Baudelaires struggles and learn from them. My children and I are together again and I only started rereading the books to pass the time, when I broke my shoulder last November. Yet as I finish “The End” today, it is again a touching reminder to me not only of how far we’ve come but of the delicacy required to try to understand all sides of any incident.

Like this series of books, life is often a disappointment if we insist on having to fix every single thing, but we can make a difference and find some peace if we are content with doing just one noble thing.

Thank you, Lemony Snicket.

Posted in Gratitude, Spring 2016, writing

Dancing With Skeletons

Closet

Last week I opened my closet and found an old forgotten suitcase,

opening it a little disaster hit me in my face.

Like opening any forgotten object left to rust,

at first it was hard to breath through the smell of dust.

It’s strange how such things, closets and suitcases, open and close with a “snap!”

yet change our lives permanently like a bear trap.

With truth hidden away, none can see the whole picture

like seeing only headlines in a newspaper, rumor and lies taint the mixture.

The misplaced anger and accusations make me question,

“What was the matter with me thinking the past I could mention?”

If only I could pretend I couldn’t hear

all my skeletons whispering there.

It is a tempting way to waste my time

pretending I have a different life in a different world far faraway from mine.

In an old folder pages and pages of my handwriting

remind me of the escape that didn’t change things.

To grow and share like a green giving tree is my mission

but I am fettered by darkness and superstition.

It’s a tricky challenge, on my own to stay,

to face the dark and sweep cobwebs away,

without damaging the delicate and innocent.

That is definitely not what I meant.

 

I want to cross that street,

with my words we can meet.

Then we may unveil the contrast between

what we say and what we mean.

I can feel the truth of it, before I find my voice and sing.

I must open these doors, clean off everything.

Place it in the sunlight shining

and embrace the healing that love, compassion and forgiveness bring.

This is why being a writer is my only choice

without it, I would have no voice.

Thank you wordpress, the daily post and all who read my posts, for giving me a place

to open these closets and dance with my skeletons in a joyous embrace.

As I muddle through trying to cope,

this is the place I nurture hope.

Posted in Gratitude, spirituality, Spring 2016

Green as the Giving Tree

Green

Green is the color of the heart chakra. It is the center for unconditional love. Nature backs this up with a world full of greenery that makes life possible. From the air we breath and the food we eat to the clothes we wear and the homes we build, greenery is responsible for gift after gift. So it is fitting that we talk now of a “green” revolution, a new way of thinking of our global challenge to save this world, but do not forget that it starts in the heart, in the love of all nature and humanity together.

I wish to be green as the giving tree. In Shel Silverstein’s book, the giving tree is happy to give all it has to the boy. To some it seems a sad story, but I happen to have an apple tree in my back yard and I know there is more to the story. For example, when the boy goes away the trees seems lonely, but real trees talk to each other chemically. In the story the tree gives away all her apples for the boy to sell. In real life you rarely sell all the apples, some of the apples have worms. Most people let the worm eaten apples fall to the ground and there children (other apple trees) spring up and they keep mother tree company. In the story the boy takes all of the trees branches to make a house. It would make much more sense to prune the branches, which makes trees very happy really. Apples growing every year would provide a better income to build a house or boat. The only reason to cut the tree down would be that the tree had died.

And once dead it is lovely to think the trunk could be used to make a boat or home, etc. Lastly the story ends with the boy as an old man sitting on a tree stump. Again even after death the tree gives a place to rest to its friend. I think it is not only beautiful but true. Nature loves to give and give and all it wants back is appreciation and respect. Are we (humans) so different?

Posted in Gratitude, Spring 2016

For the Love of Poo

To a child, poo can be a magical substance. In a world where you feel you can control almost nothing, this one thing is totally in your control. When I asked the first therapist about the likelihood that my severely autistic son would ever be potty-trained, I remember her eyes looked away past me and her expression became guarded. “It’s possible,” she said almost mechanically, “with some eventually.” But I saw the pain in her eyes, what she didn’t want to say. I smiled and assured her it didn’t matter, I would love him just the same.

At the Autism Institute, when the question came up, there was a warning. “You don’t want to make an issue of it. Trying to force it is dangerous.” I took the warning seriously but sadly my ex-husband never understood. The aides working with my son compounded the problem, they could not hide their disgusted reactions and the more they reacted the bigger the problem got.

It’s hard to explain the lesson I learned but it is one of the most important too. To prove my love to my children, I had to learn to accept what is means to make poo. It represents a special kind of control and a level of safety. There are reasons why some people can only go in certain situations or places. Anxiety, fear and a lack of privacy can get in the way. One son didn’t go for a whole week at his father’s, but the moment he came home to me, he let go, smiling such relief.

Another time he made a big mess. I could see him watching me when I saw it. There was even some on his face. But when I looked at the mess and thought about how glad I was that he was comfortable enough to go, how glad I was that he was alive and had survived that week at his father’s, all I could do was smile and hug him, poo and all. He looked so surprised and he never made a mess like that again. I had finally passed his test.

I can’t exactly say I love poo, but I do love what it represents. It’s about self-control and safety, privacy and dignity, comfort and acceptance. It’s the thing the “professionals” seem to have the hardest time talking about, but poo happens and I thank God it does.

Posted in Gratitude, Winter 2015 - 2016

Full Moon Reflections

Saturday was the full moon in Cancer, which put me in mind that now is the time to “reflect” on the past month and look to the next.

Undeniably, the best thing that happened this last month is what didn’t happen. My severely autistic son didn’t have a single seizure. (Sorry, I never mentioned his being epileptic.) No matter what else I do, taking care of him is my first job. He likes getting up early and finding me typing away. But then he is always happiest when I stay in one place, am available to him and in a good mood. We share sweet tea with milk and giggles at four am. This is my bliss.

After that, writing again is my biggest personal accomplishment. I feel like I have been waiting for years for everything to line up. Not just me realizing I’ve had enough little tries, and deciding to go for my dream, but things all around me pulling towards this future. Like this broken shoulder which makes everything else I do incredibly frustrating, and all the other ways I’ve tried writing online that never felt right. All the different times I’ve tried to share my weird dreams, but there was never enough time to explain it all, nor could I reach more than a few somewhat interested people.

And then there’s the money, which kept me ever on edge. While the federal government gives money to my son for his care, those of us who care for him get nothing. It’s been quite a struggle. After all these years my mother finally said she wants to help financially, so I can be with my son. And thanks to the tireless prodding of one sister and months of searching by another, we found a home for my mother that is affordable, suitable to her needs and best of all run by loving and kind couple who authentically felt right. Only now I can accept the money without fear or shame. She was my first reader and would love to see me get published as much as I would.

Next is how wonderfully well this website WordPress works. My daughter recommended it to me when I asked about blogging sites. I was quite uncertain and confused, there is too much out there for a web-wader (not surfer) like me. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Blogging 101 class. I think we had about a hundred students from all over the world. It kept me from being too overwhelmed, trying to figure out everything at once. Each day I would try one new thing and that was cool.

Last though is the dream, I have felt so haunted by, for the last eight and a half years. I never before told anyone about my dreams until after the stuff happened. Years of guilt followed Nine-eleven, and the Indian ocean tsunami of 2004. Nor did I speak about the voice that told me  things I could not normally know. The 2008 Sichuan earthquake and 2011 Tohoku tsunami filled my being with cold the day before they happened. I don’t know if I can describe how it feels, knowing people are going to die, hearing others cry, the earth itself saying why. It feels horribly wrong and yet . . . it all makes sense. We are all connected, the earth too. That was how the dream felt. Only this time I have a guess when, and clues to where. Things I lacked before. Believe me, I want to be wrong. I want to change this. I want this all to end up the ground work for a great fictional novel. But I’d be damned if I said and did nothing. Seven hundred and nine days more should give me plenty of time to explain.

Next month I hope to work on continuity, choosing what to blog with a little more flow than last month. I also want to cut the pieces shorter and if my arm is willing draw more pictures.

Thanks for reading. Love to all.

Carolyne