For me, remembrance is a dangerous game of standing on one foot at the edge of a cliff. Ahhh, the vistas! Oooh, the sky! Mmmm, the fragrant breeze. Guard down, I misstep and go-a-tumbling over the cliff into the past of times-best-left-unremembered.
The rose smells sweet but its’ thorn draws blood, and, just now, all my roses seethe with thorns.
Maybe it is because I have returned to my home of 40 years where memories of my family of origin, all passed now, haunt my days. Maybe it is because I have just turned 60, and my life, being in place I didn’t foresee, begs reliving. Maybe, I need to face my past, and I finally have the time to do it. Maybe I need to let go of my past, and I finally have the time to work through it.
All I am sure of right now while I truly love roses, I fear their thorns.
So for now anyway, like a Lenten sacrifice, I am giving up Remembrance and replacing it with mindfulness of this day. No remembrance (and no conjecture), just now-ness. I’ll drain my mind and let it fill again with this moment, which is almost always good.
Out my window, I see the spring rising up and hear the songs of the new birds. A good beginning to loving life as it is today and praising the Creator for all the good He gives.
I’m like a lot of folks right now out here in the big world looking for a job. All the old ideas like “beating the pavement” or circling ads in a newspaper are defunct now. The way things work in today’s world you look online and apply online (usually never ever knowing for sure if anybody ever got your cover, resume, writing sample, online application, transcript, and references). It’s so odd. It’s exhausting. You do a lot with almost no feedback, not even a “got your app” email. Frustrating! Maddening! Only the strong will survive!
I would like to say that this passage in my life has taught me the virtue of patience. That would be a lie! I’m feeling like I have been in the starter blocks for a looonnng time. I’m down, set, ready and waiting for go! The problem is I am just not the wait-around type. Now, I have great patience for other folks, but when it comes to my own self—not so much! I like to make a plan and work the plan. I am decisive. I go. I don’t wait for go…until now…ugh.
Oh well. I could rant for a while, but I have a ton of job boards that need my attention. Maybe there is magic for me in one of those posts. Maybe? Keep me in your prayers!
Sometime I get lost in the cycle of thinking about what has been or what once was. Sometimes I feel like so much has passed me by. Sometimes my life is not to my suiting.
It’s hard to not grieve for the days and places when you thought your life was better. I’m forced to change now, when I liked things just as they were.
BUT the ship of the past has sailed. In our family we have a saying, “You have to fish where the fish are.” It doesn’t matter if you have the best boat, the strongest pole, cutting edge bait and are known far and wide for your fishing expertise. What matters is that you fish where the fish are.
You are much more than the title on your business card. You have a bunch of hard won skills that earned you that title. Make an inventory of all the positive things you know and are and can do. Gather every skill and attribute, morph it into something new and fresh, then fish like a madman where the fish are baby!
Make forward movement. It may only be a baby step…but even a baby step into a new beginning is forward movement…and lots of baby steps strung together can get you anywhere you want to go.
They came in the mid-1600’s, traveled to Pennsylvania and then down to North Carolina where, with a land grant, they settled in the foothills in what is now Lincoln County. I have no way to comprehend the courage it took for a mother and father to load their children on a wooden boat and cross the ocean, leaving everything known and dear, forever. Yet, they did it.
They came to make a place for their future. They had a dream, and, in some far-reaching way, my existence today is a part of that dream. Their courage made the way for me.
I have a big responsibility to them. They gave me life. They gave life to my life. They made me an American. I don’t know them, and I never can. I do, however, feel them inside of me, and I am in awe of what they have done for me.
There are many Americans who have given everything for me. Nothing I can say says what I feel in my heart, especially today, the anniversary of 9/11.
We love you. We remember you. And we will never forget.
We don’t like to be tested, to be called to experience another passage. Mostly, I think this comes from our fears—fears of failure, fears of the unknown and the known, fears of the future and even fears of our own true selves.
The thing is, that there is no other way to learn but to be tested and allowed to falter, strengthen and rise.
How will we ever overcome our weaknesses until they are made plain through our challenges?
How will we ever know how strong we are unless a feat of strength is required that goes way beyond any comfort zone?
Whomever it is you were born to be can only be discovered through the passages you agree to complete. You may think you know who you are already, but no matter your age that person is only a new beginning place. There is more to know and more to become…but that will only be revealed through the passages you are willing to undertake.
When we have lost all words to describe, the heart still remembers. When we have forgotten what it looked like, the heart still remembers what it felt like.
Sometimes that doesn’t feel like much of a blessing. The heart keeps us feeling things we think we wish we could forget. And maybe that is a disadvantage of the heart, I don’t know for sure.
I do know this, though, my heart remembers the people I loved. My heart remembers the joy of my children. My heart holds my memories and therein, they live on.
Sometimes, that can be sad, but mostly the memories that live on in our hearts are a blessing to us. Oddly enough sometimes, that goes double for the remembrances that come to us with sadness.
(For my brother Kenny, born this day in 1958, who passed in 1996)
When you get all grown up, you just don’t want to baby step anymore! You want to stride and leap and move forward in great ways. It’s curious, because all of my life I have had to baby step every little thing I have learned—one word at a time or one step at a time or one day at a time. One of the hardest things to accept is that we only get anywhere one tiny little baby step at a time.
When I am lost or confused or don’t know what to do next or know what to do next but just can’t figure out how to get it done, I love the idea of baby stepping. When you baby step, you don’t have to know it all. You just have to know one small possibility that will move you towards your goal. That’s all.
There are lots of old adages that say something to the effect that every journey starts with one step. But. this thought, I think, takes it to the next level. One step at a time, you can do anything…if you just keep going on.
Think about a baby learning to walk. They will stand and fall and stand and fall and step and fall on and on until, one day, they get it. Adults just hate that. We like to spring forth able to do with competence whatever it is we are trying to get done. Or, if we feel we can’t do it, we quit before we even try. Adults are so afraid to appear inadequate or let be known that they don’t have it all together.
If we had that attitude from childhood, we would have never learned anything.
One step at a time, all things are possible. I think I said that!
I have come to understand that how I feel is not necessarily the result of what has happened in my life. It is not a reaction to the world, but a reaction to myself. It is not a confirmation of how the world is, but a confirmation of how I am.
What I feel is about me, good, bad, or ugly. It is about the true, inside, significant me. What I manifest is about the seeds I allow to be planted in my self. I don’t have to believe everything I am told or take on the hurt and acting out of others.
I get to choose—always. Do I let every seed that flies my way grow or do I weed out the seeds that don’t belong and choke my garden? All around us there is bound to be a certain level of disharmony, illness, tragedy, anger or fear. What seed will I water? What will I nurture by focusing my attention upon it.
Every one has their stuff, and they tend to sprinkle it around—even throw it at you, sometimes. So what! It’s their stuff, not yours. Don’t take it inside.
Life is tough. Lot of stuff gets said and done. Don’t take it all on yourself. Find a way to be whole as you plough through the middle of heavy days. Be happy. Be someone you like. Be good. Be someone you admire. Be upright. Be someone you are proud to be. Nurture you own happiness.
After all…it’s all just life going on.