Tag Archives: death

on all 4s in life’s great relay race of love, laughter & loss

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these struggling tides of life that seem
in wayward, aimless course to tend,
are eddies of the mighty stream
that rolls to its appointed end.

william cullen bryant

i’m sipping black coffee this morning since i ran out of creamer and the milk in my fridge went over. it separated into rotten milk-flakes as i attempted to make do without my half-n-half yesterday. mmmm. now there’s some great imagery for a monday morning. how’s your cereal?

i’ve been out of creamer for at least 4 days. i’ve had half-ready mail decorating the seats of my pre-schooler dirtied car for 4 days. i’ve been medicating a(nother) UTI for 4 days. i have a half finished report at work, overdue 4 days.

i’m going to lose my mom, quite possibly in less than 4 days. she might last as long as the early cherry blossoms my family and i admired yesterday, those gnarled trees’ magnificence displayed first with bursting flowers, then with the soft green canopy meant for picnics and shaded family strolls. or my phone could ring in 4 hours, 4 minutes, 4 seconds….i will very soon lose her body to the stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis she received two octobers ago.

my life this year is rife with eras ending. in some cases, the indication comes from within as i watch and feel the dying of patterns that no longer suit me. in other cases, it’s Life’s great cycle coming to reclaim the spent bodies of souls who’ve shared their energy with me all these years from hearts so loved and loving. then there are cases where the end of an era is most clearly marked by a new beginning, by the clearing of disaster debris and the discovery of a well-built foundation from which to face and embrace all of the wonder and growth yet to come.

in about 4 months, i’ll be 40. does life ever wrap things up in this tidy, if not painful a fashion? it’s been a long, long last 4 years. perhaps in 2012 this culminates and then lets me go, relieved, reborn, refreshed for my next 4 decades. no doubt 2012 will roll to its appointed end, likely with less drama than the rollercoasters of 2010 & 11, but still with its own disorienting curves, hysterical climbs and disconcerting drops.

in honor of my new beginnings and this one shot at life, i will send this missive into the ether. i will nurture and feed my future. i will write. i started this blog last July with those 3 words and 1 promise from head to heart…that i would do it for me, outrageous me, that i would practice this craft and put words together no matter if i had many or no readers to impress. i don’t need wordpress to get famous nor will i write my pulitzer winning novel for my “followers.” i will never fulfill my dreams while seeking the approval of others who are struggling toward their own. i’m here because my dreams and fantasies are mine to indulge, fulfill, achieve or regret.

and therein lies another era’s ending, one that makes space for a life lived in comfortable skin, connected to the center of my Being and my reason for Being on this earth, in tune with where i am this very moment. and so i take 4 breaths and publish my 4 cents…and thank each and every reader 4 times from the bottom of my heart.

namaste

 

gratitude for a stateside attitude

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i have a lot of disparate thoughts this morning, hard to gather and sort in time for an early post. i awoke from a decent night’s sleep for a change…though still chock full of imagery and dream decisions…to a monday of pets gone wild, ants on the warpath and a procrastinator’s army of tasks to accomplish. my thoughts remind me of these ants, marching single file, breaking apart in a chaotic looking mission meant to culminate in wiggly piles of hunger on every trace of sugar or tiny food bit. it occurs to me now that the bounce in my step this morning may just be ants in my pants.

some of my disparate thoughts land uncomfortably on news items from the weekend. we’ve been at war, a real war with guns and helicopters in place of my metaphorical war on ants and racing thoughts. this morning i’m remembering 30 troops we lost to a combination of guns and helicopters, and the news that i now know another young widow. for all my losses and heartaches, the empathy i feel toward the widows i know….acquaintances, all of them…makes me ever more grateful that i’m here to complain about ants and dog poop, and that my little daughter has her father still, even if the family tree has grown a bit crooked.

i have a heart full of prayers this morning, both for our troops in the sand and all of the family members left behind to worry and fret, and sometimes, to grieve. it’s hard to understand all of this death and destruction and glean real purpose from the battles and mistakes of the last decade. our own terror has faded, if only slightly, since 2001 when all of our hearts began beating wildly on a crisp and beautiful september morning. it was horrific. and almost ten years ago. the loss this weekend reminds me that many of the people we fight with and for have lived whole lives with that kind of terror in their hearts every day…so much that they grow numb and hard, confused and angry. in many hot spots in the middle east, widows and childless parents are more common than long marriages and intact families, mortars more common than flowers.

we have it so good we’ve forgotten how hard some have to work just to stay alive. we complain about cell phone service in air-conditioned office buildings, crowded mass transit parking lots and platforms, wait times or language barriers on customer service calls, drivers who don’t use blinkers (ahem), and all of those inconsiderate people who wreck their cars during rush hour. i wake up mortified at the idea of using stop-gap neurotoxins on my ant invasion, while people halfway around the world keep masks on hand in fear of the neurotoxins of war. it’s so easy to feel small on this planet, for troubles to feel small, especially for those of us stateside, especially for those exposed at one time or another to the third world or real revolution. for the rest of us, with couches and cable, it’s easy to get lost in our daily struggles. it’s easy to forget to be grateful. it’s easy to spew vitriol about unfairness and entitlements. the truth is, we are entitled to keep breathing, as long as we meet our needs for survival and that’s about it.

for the rest of the gifts i take for granted most days, i feel my gratitude today. for the love and support of friends, for a monday full of mundane responsibilities and for the healthy, happy child whom i can hear breathing softly through the baby monitor thanks to dependable power lines and a cheap transmitter. i’m grateful for the opportunity to be my outrageous self, in a country of outrageous selves, some who leave you outraged, some who leave you inspired, and some who have absorbed unimaginable grief with a sense of duty and a lot of faith.

do you feel grateful today? for having 10 minutes to read someone’s blog as a latte slips down your throat? for having a life to live? for the love of your friends and family? for getting stuck in traffic on a smooth, 4-lane highway? for the opportunity to accumulate bills and struggle to pay them? if you’ve forgotten for a moment, take a deep breath and thank your higher power for the comforts you enjoy and even the challenges you face. it will make the comforts more comforting and the challenges less challenging. ┬áit’s certainly working for me this morning.