Thursday, June 12, 2014

Love is...

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Over and over again I read those words; at least twenty times in all. At first my heart and mind were hung up on what I did wrong; I'd dishonored, I'd boasted, I'd lost hope. I felt guilty for not living up to love's standard, and worse I felt completely inadequate in its presence.

Yet, when I reread love's words again, objectively this time, my eyes landed on it keep no record of wrongs. I realized that I'd been doing exactly that; logging and tracking mine and others actions and behaviors and in doing so had been holding love at an arms length.

Love's stream is constant and its gifts and lessons are here for me every single moment. 

I learned a great lesson today and even though it is still difficult to fully comprehend love's depth, I now have a road map on how to be a more permanent fixture within love's arms. And, last but not least I've learned that love just does, just is and is there just because.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Inspiration or Obligation...

Isn't it interesting how we take on other people's anxiety as our own? I had an experience recently where a friend planned on moving in with her boyfriend. She showed me a building where her cats were going to stay, separate from her boyfriend's house. I instantly felt negative about her move, as her cats were a big part of her life and their living outside was not something I thought she wanted. When I shared my concern with her she smiled and explained that I must have been picking up on her anxiety about the move. She explained it wasn't her boyfriend that was against the cats being in the house (he actually looked forward to their addition), it was that she was anxious about inhabiting his space.

We behave in ways that we believe will make other people feel better, but in doing so we jeopardize our own well-being. Taking action from a state of inspiration rather than from a place of obligation is the fundamental difference between being helpful and not.

Give only when it feels good to do so. 

If taking action feels good, do it, if it doesn't, wait. The inspiration to act will come at just the time, at just the right moment. If you give yourself when it feels good to do so, you will flow seamlessly with the stream of life, or at least that's the plan. It seems inspiration hasn't quite hit me yet, so I guess I'll take my own advice and wait...      

A Walk in the Woods

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Song Speaks...

Soon-to-be tomato
I've been waking up way too early lately and I like it. It's a time and space for me only. I don't have to answer to anyone, or be anything I don't want to be. I just get to be. It's a long, deep inhale and exhale where I oxygenate my soul.
My favorite and latest emergence.

Also, I've noticed songs playing in my head. Sometimes they are quiet and barely audible, and sometimes, like yesterday morning, a song will overtake me, make me to stop what I'm doing, and ask me to find the meaning it holds, which at that time was "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips. After I wrote the lyrics on a white board, I took a step back and read them aloud. It was surprising how spot on they were with what I needed in that moment; reassurance.  
This morning's song was Salt-N-Pepa's "Let's Talk About Sex." Its rhythmic cadence transported me back in time to the backseat of my friend's mom's convertible. With the top down and wind blowing through my hair, I sang the risque lyrics at the top of my lungs, something I would have never been allowed to do in my parent's presence. This moment, unknown to me at the time, was a a pivotal one. I now see it as a step towards breaking protective cocoon of childhood and replacing it with the uncertainty of adolescence. And all that from a song.   

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Just My Luck...

Today is not my day. I know it's not the end of the world and another day will more than likely come tomorrow, but for now I've found solace in my bed. I share my feelings for the sheer fact that I can and that maybe by sharing a vulnerable and sensitive part of myself would help sooth me a bit. 

I'm aware of my desire to take all these emotions and give advice or learn some lesson from how I feel but I don't think this is the time.

This is the time, however, for a pity party, reserved for one. This is the time for super soft and striped Dr. Seuss-like socks. This is time for Willie, my fattest cat's face pressed up to mine. And, this is the time I don't want or need anything other than to be left alone and listening to Helen Reddy's 1973 hit (below).

P.S. I hate paragraphs in block alignment but I can't get it to align left. Isn't that just my luck?!  


Monday, June 2, 2014

Gardening as Art...

Green, for now

There is such a delicacy to a garden when it's first planted. Cats, not only my three but the neighborhood felines as well, deposit their goods and uproot my tender seeds leaving them defenseless and lifeless.

The pea at right has made it past imminent danger and grips tightly to its metal post, and to my delight has upped its chances of survival, despite my youngest and most violent kitty lurking in the background.

At times any cat, mole, insect or crazed weather pattern overwhelms me to the point I consider fencing, netting, and/or insect repellent to keep my dear ones safe. But when I sit and look at my fear objectively I realize the problem has little to do with my garden and more to do with a desire to control the uncontrollable.

My garden also reflects an unconscious need for success, not that that's a bad thing, but when that need makes the experience stressful and the gardening  process takes on a less than enjoyable tone, I take notice.

Whether you're a parent raising a child, an artist painting a piece, or a creator envisioning a dream, any project at some point, to some degree takes on a life of its own between preparation, maintenance, and tending to. Its failure or success, despite what you may or may not do, is out of your hands. The balance between control and letting go is a fine one, but when you find it the art of living is at your fingertips.

Enjoy the view...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dedicated to Miss Maya

*Please disregard the spelling and/or grammatical mistakes, my usual editor is on vacation. ~ Jaclynn

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." ~Maya Angelou (4/4/28-5/28/14)

Washing the "Cool Bus"
I watch a crow land on a power line, feet from where I lay. His beak moves, yet his cawing falls silent due to the window pane which separates us. He flies away, leaving me momentarily alone, then is replaced a persistent insect that bumps itself again and again against the same window pane, longing to get out.

We exist, each of us, with our very own personalized how-to guide. Its pages, however, are written in reverse. And, by the time the manual of our life is written, filled with every mistake and correction, joy and pain, its too late to read  it, and the book is closed. I don't know about you but I struggle with wanting to read ahead, especially when the chapter I'm currently writing is particularly painful.

With that said, I feel like I owe those of you who read along the first of the year an explanation.

From the start I viewed this blog as a journal, a place where my inner world could be mirrored on the page in front of me, an

d in the process feel a little better. Keeping a journal since the age of 7 I knew a thing or two about observing the world around me and expressing my take on it. The blog, however, took on a degree of honesty that made me uncomfortable. There were times for the sake of "readers" I'd convince myself everything was ok when it wasn't. There were several writing voices in my head, all louder than the other, bickering about what to and not to write about. I even wondered if I had schizophrenia and recently read a statistic that said authors are 50 percent more likely to commit suicide than the general population. I don't want to commit suicide but I do believe I have a clue into the mind's playground.

Hot Spring Dip
The inner world is a labyrinth of chutes and ladders, twists and turns, ups and downs. You are right until proven wrong, certain until doubt comes along, and a lion that turns into a lamb. Thus is life, a never ending step by step unfolding of exactly what you put into it. When things are going well, it's easy to say I did that, but when things are a struggle it's not to easy to say I did that. We are victims of circumstance and innocent by default. We misinterpret our weaknesses as strengths, then in vain point the finger at the person next to us and list their faults because it's easier to break the mirror than look into it. I took a long hard look into the mirror, to the point it made me dizzy. I stepped away for a couple months and here I am, still dizzy but ready for more.

A big thank you to Maya Angelou whose spirit influenced me and inspired me to begin to write again.

"You are free when you realize you belong no place - you belong every place -no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great." ~Maya Angelou