i have been losing myself in mark nepo’s writing lately.
i’m now engrossed in his book, ‘seven thousand ways to listen.’
he said something in there that i thought was really worth all of us
thinking about. so i thought i’d share –
‘Facing our inner divisions is the first step to knowing where we need
to rejoin ourselves. You cannot set bone until you know where it is
broken, and you cannot set upon the journey of individuation – of
becoming a whole person – until you know where and how you are
i love the ‘divided’ word.
i really love that choice of words.
and i love the thought.
i couldn’t answer you where i thought my inner divisions are right now.
and i think that’s one reason i love this.
it’s really something to chew on and consider.
god’s been on my mind.
i’m not even sure how to explain it.
cause i don’t believe in the kinda god a lotta people do.
i talk about god like i do tho, cause it’s just easier to use the words that way.
and i guess that’s it –
i wanted to find my own words.
i wanted to find some sort of way to describe god.
describe what i mean by god.
i wanted to paint my god with words.
so i went down to the coffee shop and thought about it.
scribbled some stuff down.
and saw – i had no words that worked.
i was right next to a window watching the breeze blow thru the leaves of
the trees outside, i was looking at the sky – that for me is sooo much a symbol
of god….and i couldn’t do it. how do you catch the energy that’s in between
what you see? how do you catch the life in the living?
so i started writing about how i couldn’t do it.
and i watched my hand moving the pen…..
the way it just glided along, writing words….
and i thought…..there’s god.
in whatever is moving my hand.
but how do you capture that?
stuck, i went up to refill my coffee cup.
there was a young woman there filling the napkin holder.
i smiled, said hello, asked her how she was as i helped myself to the coffee.
we chatted for a moment.
and just as i was about to turn back and head to my table,
she asked ‘and how are you?’
she didn’t have to.
it wasn’t necessary.
it was easy to end it all where we were.
but she asked.
and she sounded like she cared.
i smiled, answered her and joked.
that was on the outside.
on the inside things just kinda stopped for me.
and i felt……really FELT….how god was right there.
right there between us.
i had absolutely no words to describe what i meant,
but i was overwhelmed with the feeling.
and for a MOMENT i really understood how god is everywhere.
i went back to my table sure i had no words for what i was feeling.
but still so grateful for the moment and how it filled me.
i decided to drive home and be in my yard with the sky.
as i headed out of the parking lot, i saw some people crossing into a store.
they looked as if they forgot god was there.
‘they just forgot.’ i thought.
we all just forget.
and sometimes we just close the door on it all.
but it doesn’t go away.
whatever that is that i can’t describe –
it doesn’t go away.
and the trying to protect thru the fear.
oh my gosh.
when will we EVER learn?
i just watched someone stuck in their fear,
and tryin’ really hard to protect themselves.
they finally let go and seem so much happier.
they don’t seem any more safe than they were before….
but way happier.
couldn’t we just say that about me recently?
and me lots of times.
it’s so much easier seeing it in someone else.
it just makes so much sense that all that struggle they’re doing
to stay safe and protect themselves is a waste and a wrestle they don’t need.
and we need to be patient til they figure it out.
it’s so easy to see when someone else is doin’ it.
but when we do it?
it seems so necessary.
it seems so important.
it seems so consuming.
it doesn’t help a thing.
hurts a ton.
and slows us down.
i see it clearly now.
now let’s see if i can live it clearly for oh…..
maybe a full weekend?
i held my breath when i read mark nepo refer to the sea as
god’s smaller face in the world.
and the phrase popped into my head last nite as i was standing in the
middle of my yard looking up at the sky.
a strong storm was rolling in.
the clouds were churned up, moving swiftly in circular motions.
the different shades of gray were many
and here and there were holes of light shining thru the layers
and layers of power and energy.
i was completely taken with the force above me.
and i thought of that phrase –
god’s smaller face in the world.
i was intimidated standing under such power,
i was in awe of the energy that was so beyond me,
and i was moved by the breath taking beauty of it all.
i noticed how full of emotion i was –
and thought if i i felt this full under a stormy sky –
imagine what it would be like standing in front of god.
‘this feeling here would be equivalent to seeing god’s pinky!’ i thought.
i don’t do a lotta fridge magnets.
as a matter of fact – i only have three.
i’m a minimalist when it comes to fridges.
two hold up the only photo i have there.
it’s of my partner and i.
it’s on the side of my fridge and right where i can see it when i cook.
one magnet is the cat and the hat.
and the other says ‘i’m very receptive to compliments today.’
they remind me to keep the child like play alive in my relationship
and to always be free in telling the good stuff.
then i have my ‘real’ magnet.
the one that i’d leave there if there wasn’t anything else at all on the fridge.
the one that i saw in the store and laughed right out loud when i read it.
the one i didn’t buy because i was budgeting.
the one my friend who was with me secretly bought for me after she saw my reaction to it.
it says quite simply –
‘let go or be dragged.’
i honest to pete think that is one of the best things that has ever been written.
and as many times as i’ve glanced at it, laughed again, and nodded for
the thousandth time, it always feels true.
that’s exactly where i am with a certain place in my life right now.
and i gotta be honest,
there’s marks in the path where my heels have dug in while i’ve been dragged along.
let go or be dragged.
dragging doesn’t feel so good.
i’m workin’ hard on letting go.
and i think that’s my problem.
i don’t think letting go is so much about work.
i think it’s just doing.
i keep at it.
loosening one finger at a time.
i’ll get there.
cause this whole dragging this is……well…..
dare i say?
a total drag.
sorry, i couldn’t help it. 🙂
let go or be dragged.
still, as hard as it is right now, that’s one of my all time favorite sayings.
there’s been a lot on my heart lately.
stuff i haven’t been able to control,
friends who are hurting.
morons who won’t shut up.
people who aren’t thinking things thru.
and it’s made my heart heavy.
over and over again, i have gone to my yard for peace.
it always comes thru.
but the sadness……it’s been staying for awhile now.
so when the storm rolled thru yesterday,
i shoulda realized that’s why i was drawn to my back porch.
to just be with the energy of the earth.
to bring my sadness to the storm.
it rolled in with gusto
and poured and poured and poured.
i couldn’t sit there any more.
i HAD to be in it.
of course, it wasn’t really smart as there was still thunder around,
but i couldn’t help it.
i had a bucket filling with water under my gutter.
i went right over.
it’s like being in a waterfall.
(yeah, i need to check my gutter)
i took the bucket and poured it in my little pond where i had
just earlier discovered tadpoles.
back and forth from gutter to pond,
i filled the bucket
and poured it out again,
talking to the tadpoles and the rain.
the practical reason, if anyone asked, would be to fill my pond.
but my pond didn’t need it.
and then i sat on the steps and watched the storm leave.
the sun was right behind it.
one of those storms where the last rain drops are in the sunshine.
and i watched the bright sun hit the wet leaves.
and the glimmer that was born!
my entire soul just filled up with it.
and without even realizing where it was coming from,
i just kept hearing ‘YES!’
my whole being felt like the word yes.
in the back of my head, i knew there was some poem by
e.e. cummings with yes in it.
after taking it all in,
feeling the healing of the storm waters
and the water diamonds among the leaves
i went in and looked up the poem.
here’s a piece of it –
i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes
i thought it was so cool how the poem had filled me without
my even really knowing what the poem said.
i definitely went beyond understanding it –
i lived it.
so this is what happens with an engineer in my life –
he says something i never heard of,
and it catches my mind on fire.
like ‘critical path.’
OOooOooohhhhh i say…what’s THAT?!
and i start repeating ‘critical path. critical path. critical path.’
cause i love how it sounds.
okay, so now you gotta forgive the non-engineer defining of this –
this is filtered thru me, so you know….take it with a grain of salt –
but this is what’s got me all tickled, so who cares if it’s accurate or not?
that’s not the point!
so like you’re doin’ a project.
and you got a buncha different things you gotta do.
which thing is kinda pluggin’ up the works at the moment?
the thing that needs unpluggin’ so the rest can flow right then,
THAT’s the critical path.
i apologize to any engineers for that.
but that’s what i got.
what’s pluggin’ up the darn works?
that’s where we gotta focus.
oh man……you KNOW that caught my interest.
i found myself driving and thinking about that.
i wanted to find the critical paths in my life.
but you know….that means i gotta have something in mind that i’m
trying to accomplish, right? so you gotta kinda know your goal.
oh great, i groan.
i gotta know my goal in life?
but you do know, i argue.
and i do.
but i go to the one that i’m workin’ on right now.
that’s to stay present. to see how lucky i am.
to realize all the bounty and glory all around me.
so what gets in my way?
well………hmmmmmm……it’s the staying present stuff.
i slip and fall asleep over and over.
so my critical path right now is to keep myself awake?
now i’m confused.
but i think that’s prolly it.
and i don’t know how to.
i mean, if i knew that, i could type that out and be some kinda
amazing guru, right? but i haven’t a clue.
at this point i find myself in an aisle at target with a tiny little boy.
he’s sitting in his cart making the most wonderful noises.
he’s happy and he’s cooing.
my back is to him as i’m checkin’ out something real important
like hooks. and i hear him. and my whole being melts.
i turn towards him and smile and start talking to him.
hooks have taken the back seat to this little boy’s glow.
not wanting to be some kinda weirdo shopper and freak out his mom,
i turn back to the hooks after i’ve filled up on the glow.
i grab what i need, and go to the next aisle.
i hear his cooing again.
i stand one aisle over just listening.
totally in the present.
i head off thinking that’s it….i gotta unplug my cooing pipe.
i gotta unplug the gunk so i just coo.
that’s my critical path.
but now i see there must be more to this engineering stuff….
cause you gotta figure out how.
i wonder what they call that? the figuring out of it all?
i imagine they use schematics. (see! i DO hang out with these
engineery types and pick up words!) but i think i need to use
and won’t that be fun?!
visuals to see what’s gunking up the cooing pipe.
oh man, i am such an engineer at heart!