Tag Archives: blessings

Ponderings: the moment between

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It has been a while. In fact I have seriously contemplated taking down my blog b/c of lack of motivation to write about anything of real substance or meaning. Not that those things are not happening but I know that when I do not write-journals or anything- I am avoiding my thoughts and feelings.

I find something interesting and flashy: a project, new dedication to my job ect and intentionally forget about the rest. It is hard for me to define what it is that I am running from other than failure in general.  I am a person who perseveres, who survives but I wonder often, “at the cost of what?” What I mean is that for every choice we make we say yes or no to something. And I have the increasing feeling that the more I “survive” the less I really live. To live one has to be willing to fail, to try and inevitably lose sometimes. To survive one must only breath and keep going. I know that this is a mellow-dramatic and perhaps overly dark assessment of things but it is how my heart feels.

My latest distraction has been “trying” to date. Please pause for a moment while I laugh at myself. Though I did learn a few interesting things about myself, my nature and dating in your 30’s; most of what I learned was that my heart is not in it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an adrenalin and pheromone junkie like everyone else on that planet but the moment that I was at risk, I had to give anything, I shut it down. And that is just unfair to good people with different intentions.

So here I am smack in the middle of self assessment again. There is a part of me that feels like I should go back to counseling. There is a part of me that will not do that and there is another part of me that wonders when I will love/believe in myself enough to know I can make it and cut myself a break. But that feels very hard.

It is hard to look at the people I love in and out of my family and wonder if I only get the chance I lost. If I really don’t want kids or if I’m so scared they’ll be like me that I will not do that to my nonexistent spawn. I am so sick of listening to the same stories in my head but I don’t know how to change them. I’m so tired of being Alice giving very good advice and seldom following it.

What is the point to this self-pity rant you ask? That is if you are still reading. I’m in the moment between breaths. My old life is finally out of my lungs and I am happy for that. But I have no idea what the intake of new air will bring. So I hold my breath foolishly like a child, knowing that my body will make me breathe again, just like it made me live again.

I wish I were wiser and less afraid. I wish I had more compassion for my heart and what if feels. I wish I could accept that if I never fall in love again, get a “better” job or leave the state of Georgia that I will be fine, that I could even be happy, but I don’t believe it.

There is some deep place in me that keeps shouting it’s not good enough, it’s not safe enough and I am running out of time. The perspective part of me knows that most of what I just wrote is total BS. I have done amazing things and will do more and those accomplishments are mine. Many of them I did without the benefit of the life experiences that I have now and make me even better than before. But my heart doesn’t hear any of that. It only hurts when I don’t expect it, like tonight.

I know that my life will work itself out and I will be okay with it again. But it feels like it has been a long time since I felt that way. In January I will have lived here for two years and been divorced for one. It feels like such little progress, though I know the precious ground I have earned. I fear the first real steps on my own, I only see land mines hidden beneath the flowers of possibility.

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What happens in the moment

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I went to a dance party at the studio where I take Latin classes tonight. I always get a little anxious beforehand, mostly b/c it is my nature to be so. Tonight there was a small group, all people I knew from my classes. I did not expect to find how warm and funny everyone was. I don’t mean to imply that they are not that way usually but I am not usually open to letting that in.

I have noticed over the past month or so that in my own small ways I am seeking out opportunities to let people back into my life. And not in a passive, they come they go kind of way, but in a way that asks me to offer something in return- vulnerability.

When I first came to Valdosta almost two years ago my life as a knew it had just fallen to pieces at my feet. It took the better part of that first year to remember how to breathe and live again. Once I was on the path of  rejoining the living I knew I had to start doing things for my own happiness,  to maintain my grip on the now. So I took up dance.

Never having danced before I walked into the studio across the street and decided that I would learn something new. It was difficult for a long time to feel like I was making progress and not handicapping my partners. But with the encouragement of my classmates and teachers I stuck with it even when I wanted to just give up and cry. I know that may sound a bit childish or over the top but I’m not sure you can understand how hard it is to re-start your life unless you have had to go through it. After that pain is gone you are left with questions about yourself and the choices you made, the things that happened to you. It makes everything a raw patch, so what would normally be nothing on an average day feels like you are being stabbed. And then if your me, you wonder things like ” why the h*** did you put yourself out there in the fist place?”

But I digress b/c I didn’t give up and tonight I could see it. I know that I am easily flustered but I didn’t care. I kept the apologizing to a shocking minimum and laughed a lot. In fact my teacher said “you are so fun.” I like that the light I feel in my life is finally starting to show through.  I know that I have done a lot of work to get here and there is still much to be done. But I would be remiss if I did not mention these interesting, generous group of people who have helped me to remember that my life is wonderful, silly and still going forward.

So I would like to take this small moment to thank them: Hanna- it is a blessing to have someone who has walked in your shoes,  Alvero- for not letting me give up, Chester- for making me practice one more time to know that I can do it, Will- for making me look you in the eyes, Tiffany- for a big heart so generously given, Ananda- for your smile and conversations, Gloriana- for you patience and sweetness. Thank you all so much. Weather you knew it or not you helped me to find my way back to me and for that I am so grateful.

What I’ve been up to

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I know I have been quiet for a while. It’s not that I haven’t thought about the blog or haven’t had things to say. But I have found (over the past year or so) that it is best to write after a situation is resolved, so I have some perspective, instead of in the thrall of the moment. It can become a serious TMI in a heart beat.

That said, it is a little calmer now and I think I am beginning to see what my life might be like on the other side. At this point what I am dealing with is all me, the rest has been resolved, salted and burned never to resurrect itself again. But there are a lot of questions I have for myself about who I am, who I’m not, who I want to be and how the heck I got this way.

Example, I used to be a bold-ish, laugh all the time, a shiny, happy type of person. I knew what I was good at and had confidence in those abilities. Now I am afraid to laugh, to let anything good in (not because I don’t think I deserve it) because I don’t want to feel how much it hurts that she (the happy girl) was in a coma and is now trying to wake. I want to really live again, to let myself love my life again and stop being afraid that at any moment my life will fall like cards. So I have set out on a mission to find what I love and try my best to hold on to it even if I’m terrified.

In that spirit I have taken up two new ways to challenge and make my life more colorful. I have always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument. So I bought a bamboo flute (above) and am going for it. I love the sound and it is helping me to learn music instead of just sight-read. Also I look forward to doing something soothing after 8 hour of computer screens (I have three) and stat order after stat order.

The second is so out of character for me that I shocked myself when I took it on and then continued with classes. I am learning two different Latin dances. Bachata (slow/sexy) and Salsa (fast/challenging). I never would have said that I wanted to dance, liked to dance or had the self-confidence to get out there and just have fun. But I find myself practicing in the living room and I just bought my fist pair of “real” dance shoes. Who knew your needed felt to turn properly?

Last night I went to a local restaurant the hosts a Latin night to meet up with some of my classmates and practice in a “non-class” environment. Let me say that at the best of times I don’t like rooms full of strangers, add to that performance anxiety and I could have spent the night on the bench. But my teachers and class mates are so wonderful and made me laugh at myself and get out there anyway. I ended up having a good time and even ran into a co-worker while I was there.

It is interesting that dance lets me learn to trust parts of myself that I haven’t before and I like the person I am when I’m dancing. There is so much of who I used to be and how I used to feel about myself that lives in this hazy place called the past. But when I work on music or dance, it is something that I am doing for me, in the now and has no ties to any of that. And that is liberating. I know that I will sing and draw and inspire young people again someday. But for now they are the field lying dormant, waiting to be fertile again and while they rest I will explore the other pasture newly cleared and full of possibility.

 

Deva Premal: meditation and beauty

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Aad guray nameh
Jugaad guray nameh
Sat guray nameh
Siri guru devay nameh
I bow to the Primal Guru,
I bow to the Guru woven through time
I bow to the True Guru, the true
identity of the self.
I bow to the Great Guru whose great
glory will always be.
Guru: that which brings us from darkness
(GU) to light (RU).

shattered

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I threw my life on the ground and watched it shatter.

In a single moment everything, everything that I knew changed.

I raged, wept and futilely tried to put the pieces together.

 

I do not remember the moment I realized that my hands where cut and my blood dulled the once bright edges.

I put the shards down and backed away.

From a distance I could see the irrevocable change

But my hands still reached out.

Sheer force of will and the desire to heal stayed them time and time again.

 

Now a few scares stretch as my hands move once more towards the pieces.

Instead of seeking to replicate what once was, they nimbly dust and wash each;

Looking for the qualities that only it contains: a color, a shape or curvature.

Carefully I lay them out in the mud of this new life.

 

I am unsure how one piece will sit next to another: if the edges will combine to please the eye,

If the colors still compliment in this erratic new state.

But as each piece finds its place I see the whole better, I trust the wisdom of my hands.

It is not the piece I set out to make, not in its function or form

But it is stronger and more beautiful for the breaking.

AC 2012

Grand Bay: day trip

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This past Saturday I took myself on a day trip to Grand Bay Wildlife Refuge which is less than 10 min from my house. I was really surprised by how nice the picnic area was and how long the board walk to the tower is.

It was cold and quiet, it made for the perfect morning stroll. I enjoyed the solitude and the chance to just be with nature far away from the sounds of people.  I forget sometimes how necessary it is to remember my place in the world as just one small thing living with many others; some much older than  myself.

There is a cypress stump there that they think was around 600 yrs old when the loggers cut it down. That is older than our country! I didn’t see many animals a few small birds and one heron. There were some late season flowers and weeds making a go of it before we get frost.

I had a really good time, it was nice to get out and take some photos. Here are a couple more.

 

What I left behind: finding my bliss

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I have realized that over the past 6 months or so I have done a lot of surviving and not a lot of living. I wish that I could say that it was necessary but I’m awake enough to realize that a good bit of it is hiding. So the question is what do I do about it?

I know that I could continue to live this life and get by but that is not what I want. I miss the passion in my life about work and creativity. I miss being bold and going places and doing things because I want to with or with out people.

I have used the excuse too long that I don’t know anything about this town or the surrounding area.  All it takes to remedy that is gas and the GPS. I have come to realize that I am afraid to feel. Being an emotional person most of my life this feels odd but it is the only explanation for many of the things I have let happen.

I don’t “make” anything right now. I love photography and haven’t taken picture in month, it has been even longer since I picked up a pencil or a paint brush. I have written but it’s so easy to escape feelings in the esoteric meanings of words. It is not so easy to evade color, beauty or the memories linked to smell. Once I came to this realization I was shocked that I have spent months choosing not to feel.

That is not to say that I haven’t ranted or cried but I feel something deeper lurking just beyond the emotions I know I cn control. It makes me stop conversations and stay out of my study. I know that I need to address it and love myself through it but I seem to chicken out every time I feel it coming to the surface. I don’t want to be one of those people who hides in other words and yet here I am, reading books and watching tv instead of engaging myself.

So how do I break the pattern? How do I reach out to myself in a way that feels safe? By making a list.

Things to do this weekend and next week:

  1. Cook all of my own food- on some very base level this is taking care of me.
  2. TV no more that 1 hr per day- I need to play in the real word
  3. Wake up every day @ 7am and use that hour doing something that is meaningful to me (blogging, praying, exercising)
  4. Go outside!!! Even just a walk down the st.
  5. Find a place in town that I want to go to and go there.
  6. Make a list of all my unfinished art projects and work on one.
  7. Take my camera anywhere and use it.

Some of you may wonder “what is the point in a list if you don’t do those things?”  Well for me getting my thoughts together in some form and out of my head always helps. Also having a record so when I find myself in those unhappy prone to numbness moments there is a plan.

I want to thank those of you who have been encouraging me to be less of a victim and more of a survivor. Thank you for you words directly and through your writing. I know that I will get my head out of the sand and rediscover what makes my life amazing.