journal

musings and ponderings…

June 25, 2015

uncle

uncle
ya know,
i can be so darn thick headed.
the best thing in my life lately has been havin’ this goofy guy of mine here.
this whole co-habitation thing has been deeply wonderful.

and um…..
i gotta say, i dragged my feet a bit.
grinnin’.
okay.
a lot.

i dragged my feet a lot.

gosh, if we could look down at the path of my life,
we’d find a whole lotta dragged feet marks along the way.

so here i am, draggin’ my feet with more things,
and it occurs to me –
the last thing i dragged my feet with has been really really good once i let go.
i am living that joy right now.

so.
how about with other stuff???

i think it’s time.

no, this isn’t an over nite letting go of for sure.
i’ve been deeply dug in for a bit now.
but i think today i’m letting go and letting life lead me.

i honestly think i’ve had enough wrestling.

and i’m ready to be led.

funny,
i feel my inner child coming alive again.
go figure.

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June 22, 2015

heel marks

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.

big sigh.

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.
and trying.
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.
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June 22, 2015

a rain storm

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.
i did.

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.

and once again, the earth soothed me.

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May 7, 2015

an engineer at heart

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.

ahem.
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.
you do.

and i do.

but i go to the one that i’m workin’ on right now.
the sub-goal.
that’s to stay present. to see how lucky i am.
to realize all the bounty and glory all around me.

okay.
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?

not sure.
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.

cooing.
totally in the present.
totally there.

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
visuals….

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!

May 4, 2015

doing something…..

i have noticed that when i come up against something horribly dark,
or just a really really difficult struggle – i am filled with the need to DO something.
it happens every time.

which can be a bit frustrating if you read the news.

i try to keep the news in balance in my life.
sometimes i don’t do so good with that.
sometimes i just about drown with it all.
and then i take a sabbatical and try to balance again.

and sometimes something will hit so deeply that i’ll just feel that need again –
that overwhelming need to DO something.

this morning that happened to me.
that overwhelming feeling came.
along with the tears.

i headed for the shower, turned on the prayer music and tried to just get centered.
yet the tug was there –
what can i possibly do?
it’s so huge and so beyond me.
what can i possibly do?

and then….
the answer that always seems to come to me when no other answer will come –
whispered to me again.

it’s in one of my bone sighs…..the one i have for grief –

“weeping and aching, 
i longed to honor your passing.
i longed to honor your life.
searching everywhere, 
i found only one answer.
honor myself.
become all that i am.
and carry you inside that beauty. ”

i got to thinking about how incredibly wealthy i am just because i live where i live.
i got to wondering about that.
and i got to wondering about how i live and what i do with what i have.
and i got to thinking about how i act.

and i got to thinking that the very least i can do is value my blessings with all i have,
understand how lucky i am, work very hard at not adding any more pain to the world,
work hard at taking any pain i can away.

do exactly what that bone sigh says –
-honor myself –
become all that i am.

part of me wants to argue that and say that’s nothing. you’re doing nothing.
but the answer back to that is ‘ then why is it so hard?’

it’s one place i can start.
it’s one place i have control over.
it’s one thing i can lift up every single day and say – i offer my heart.
as open and loving as i can make it.

June 29, 2004

a newspaper feature… (2004)

The Doors

– From Maryland Independent newspaper 2004 –

when i read the recent news of the hostage beheadings, deep sorrow overwhelmed me. it was early in the morning, and i turned to my oldest son, josh, with tears in my eyes. i told him i felt so badly and wanted to do something, but didn’t know what that could be. we talked a bit and decided that the very least we could do that day was to not complain about anything. a tiny, tiny thing…..but something to remind us all day of what was important.

as it turned out, josh joined me for an art meeting i had with the wylde women gallery director. we talked of the new show we were gearing up to have and what we would put in it. i said i had some doors i could bring to “funk up the place.” we talked of splattering paint on them and just being fun with them. but then josh turned to me and suggested i do something with those doors to express the feelings i was having about the beheadings. as soon as he said it, i knew i had to do just that. i was so full of these feelings and they needed to tumble out somewhere.

doors

i had ached to do something to honor those people. i had ached to do something to honor those people. tammy, the director, lit up. i had emailed her earlier that day expressing my agnst over the situation and my frustration in feeling so helpless. she totally understood and encouraged me to be fully me in my creation. a gift i can never thank her enough for.

i thought of the doors and how perfect they were. suburban doors. what so many of us live behind. what so many of us hide behind. i had been continually closing doors on my emotions as all of this was just too much for me to deal with. doors.closed doors. perfect.

josh and i did continue our “not complaining” campaign for the rest of the nite. and as it turned out, it was an extremely significant and difficult nite for josh. as we sat next to each other in sadness, we looked at each other and remembered our pact. no complaints. and we agreed, it truly put everything in perspective for us that nite.

as i sat the next evening watching my three sons work on their truck, i again was filled with the emotions of the news. my sons, 18, 16, and 12, all doing something all brothers should be doing…..working together on something they loved. so much was moving inside of me.

i scrambled to get some paper and a pen. things were coming and i wanted to let them out. two bone sighs were born as i sat there next to my sons tinkering.

i insisted that i get a newspaper to paint on. the bone sighs that had just been born were to be painted on newspaper and taped to the doors. i knew it. the doors would be splattered to look bloody. i knew it’s what i had to do. it was 10:40 at nite and i found myself in the grocery store buying a newspaper. 11:30 rolled around to find me madly painting my latest bone sighs on the newspaper. i was filled with this. i had to do it. NOW.

i wanted so much to cry out. to wail. to tell these people they mattered. to honor the dead. to honor the human spirit that i must believe in. that i will not let go of. i had to do it.

the next morning found me early in the back yard splattering the doors and releasing so much emotion inside of myself. art truly is therapy.

noah and zakk, two of my sons, helped me set up the doors in the gallery soon after that. they understood what they were about and truly were pleased to help set them up.

it didn’t take long before someone came along and was offended. he was so offended that he turned them to the wall so no one else could see them. after that, tammy called to tell me that this same man had callled her irate and demanding that she remove the doors. she refused and he contacted the owner of the building.

tammy and i discussed it. i told her that i would remove the doors in a heartbeat if she asked me to. tammy is the only one i would have done that for. she had encouraged and supported me in being true to myself, and i would do what i could to keep that from causing her trouble. i’ll never forget what she said. without hesitation, she said “terri, some things are more important, and this is one of them. the doors stay.”

i was in total agreement. the doors were to honor those who died. if we took them down because one person misunderstood their meaning, then the doors would only be a dishonoring to the human spirit. the doors stayed.

soon after that we were asked to leave. it was the typical shallow go around. tammy and i wanted to meet and talk it over with the people who were upset. i was excited at that thought. i thought of how it was like a microcosm of the world. we were having a conflict, let’s communicate, let’s see if we can hear each other. what a great chance to see if we could work together as humans. no one had time for that. there was only one thing be done, remove the doors. when i offered to meet, and to post an explanation by my piece, i was told the doors needed to be removed. and when i refused to remove them i was told that i had an uncooperative spirit. no one wanted an uproar. “we are here to make money.”

perhaps it was more of a microcosm then i wanted to admit.

and so, we closed. the wylde women gallery that was created to make a space for everyone, the gallery that never turned one person down, that encouraged all to participate and enjoy, was censored and closed.

we packed up, cleaned up, and loaded the trucks. as i turned for a last goodbye, i noticed some ashes that had fallen to the floor. i thought how fitting it was that they were there. “this is no place for agony,” i was told. and i thought of how we can close the doors, even hide the doors away…..but there are always ashes that linger behind.