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Morning prayer.

Please help me

shed my ego

for today.

So that I may be

present in the moment.

The real me

not the puffed up ego driven me.

Please help me

be of service to my

earthly counterparts

through the gift of being

present and teachable

with my ear to the hearts of others.

@junemoon 02/2012

Plus 10 or 10 Plus or 10+

or

getting more grateful by the minute ~

Here in this corner of the planet where the hours of daylight have increased past 10 per 24 hour cycle, people like me are growing more ecstatic exponentially.  And the party shows no signs of abatement as summer solstice is still some months in front of us.  We are gaining 5+ minutes every single day. 

Woo Hoo! 

Hotdiggity!  Dogdiggity! 

Hallelujah and Amen. 

The growing natural light will be extended even further into the evening hours in just a little over a week when we spring forward an hour.  That is when drivers with nightblindness are freed from our dark winter prison.  Unjailed, to accept dinner invitations, run errands after work, visit with friends and family and hoot and holler while we drive, baby drive, after 3:30 PM. 

See what I mean?  There is hella’ lot to be hootin’ and hollerin’ rejoicin’  and revelin’ about up here where the returning of the light is a seasonal gift that keeps on giving for many months. 

Happy dance all around!  Go ahead, kick up your heels.  A simple yet awe inspiring gift from the Universe ~ No charge.  No fee.

Get ready

Get set

Not ready, yet.

Just the other day, which at this stage of my life can mean a couple of weeks or months ago, I realized that if I were to die in that moment I would not feel ready to take my leave of this life time.  This realization arrived with no small surprise.  You see, I have spent big chunks of energy, time, effort, imagination and sheer will power to keep my precarious hold to this earthly planet.  And that is not to speak of my multiple beseechings of the Universal Powers to alternately open my eyes to the wonders that this life has to offer or to take me quickly to another place, another planet, another existence or to simply extinguish my flickering flame altogether. 

I have struggled with varying gradations of melancholy and depression as far back as my memories travel.  Years of spiritual searching and guidance seeking ~frequent findings and losings of faith ~ years worth of various therapies ~ book after book of helping myself books read, re-read, dog-eared and cursed ~ multiple sundry eating plans, herbs and self-medication, followed by much self castigation with equal amounts of guilt for being so un-grateful for life’s abundance.  

Scattered amongst this turmoiled angst, moments and sometimes days of brightened mood.  Such a welcome respite in a choppy sea of deep blue and inky black depths.  

A certain thought has cropped up now and then of ‘if I were to die right now… .”  The thought  followed by a variation of ‘it wouldn’t be a moment too soon’  or ‘a perfect moment to leave.’  So one might understand a bit more the surprise, the startle if you will, that I felt with that initial response of ‘no, I am not ready.’  Not ready to leave this life, my life, in this moment.  As I have mulled over this new response, which has remained, I have come to understand that my life feels more precious to me than in the past.  Many other realizations have crystallized as the marinading of this new experience continues. 

Today though I wanted to share that I am here.  I am alive.  I am not ready to leave.  I am living.

The other day I read the headline or byline or small snippet of an article based on the theory that humans are incapable of simultaneously loving someone and worrying about that same someone.  In other words, worry is not tantamount to love.  This byline, this fragment of what appeared to be a lengthy piece of writing, has now been popcorning around in my head. 

My knee jerk reaction was to exclaim, “You sir or madam, are wrong!”  That urge most likely comes from the fact that I am a notorious worrier over the safety of those I hold dear.  And I suppose I must be equating worry to the strength of my caring and out-and-out affection for these folks.  Pious, perhaps?  Martyr, maybe?  I mean, really, does any “good” parent not worry about their children’s safety, futures, happiness and health?  And does not their worry make their “love” even stronger? 

If I were a predictor of the future, one gifted with psychic abilities if you will, I might foresee my search for this particular catalyst of thought and emotion provoking article in order to read beyond the byline.  I mean, after all, one must have some understanding of what one vehemently disagrees with, correct?  Plus, beyond my initial uncensored reaction there lies a curiosity and openness to this new idea.  For when the day is all said and done, worry does not seem to enrich the lives of either the lover or the object of their affection. 

So sign me up for new ideas and careful considerations of a new way of approaching the sacred experience of love.  My knee seems to be healing nicely from its recent acute reaction.

Some days you are the hammer and some days you are the nail. 

And then some days you are the gorgeous piece of art displayed from the hammered nail. 

Some days there is enough beauty to go around to everyone.  More than eye candy.  More like heart and soul candy.  Savor those days, my friends.  Savor the beauty. 

Some days.

Napping is good.  Whether the nap is taken sitting upright or lying down, either way, it’s all good.  I opted for such goodness yesterday afternoon and was rewarded with rich and varied dreams.  The extra interesting dreams may have been somewhat influenced by my lunch.  The lunch that was slightly, meaning well off, my current low sodium plan.  Can you say a foodie’s salty heaven?  Not to worry, I do not intend to continue veering off the diet forever.  Sometimes though, a triple decker turkey club sammie on lightly toasted whole wheat bread is worth this high risk behavior. 

Yes.  Either way.  Horizontally or vertically.  Napping is a good thing.  All snuggled up in one’s down duvet with loads of fluffy and firm pillows for added comfort. 

Did I mention yesterday was an overcast cold winter’s day?  It was and I did.  Nap. 

All good.  Way good.

It appears that a simple function termed threading of film onto a projector eludes me.  Baffles me even after some time and effort spent cleaning the very old equipment and online searching for helpful how-to instructions.  Not surprising I suppose ~ this road block of sorts.  After all, this is no ordinary antique projector.  This is my adoptive parent’s projector and the 8mm and super 8mm film reels housed in their bright yellow Kodak cardboard boxes hold family history  family secrets  family surprises.  This film plays silently with only the loud thrum of the machinery accompanying the grainy color images. 

At least that is how I remember the viewings as a child and young adult when after much pleading, my mother would finally acquiesce, giving my father permission to haul out the projector and the film.  As adopted daughters, my sister and I, yearned even more than the average kid to see again and again the evidence of our belonging, of our history.  A history that only went back to when we arrived in America, bought by these White American parents.  I was a Korean adoptee and so was my sister, arriving from different backgrounds and first families to form our very own little tribe of two in a land where no one looked like us ~ to a land where for all of our childhoods we were known as The Adopted Korean Girls. 

Fast forward many years and here you will find me.  Finally pushing through my myriad of fears, resistance and ambivalence to allow myself to figure out another piece of my foundation.  Sounds heavy for such a simple task of figuring out an old projector and watching a few canisters of film.  Simple or not, these actions have been many years in the making. 

It seems that the gathering of our lives lived through memories, yearnings, wishes and dreams is a life long journey.  A journey which offers experiences of joy, sadness, grief, longing, laughter, anger, tears, breath taking ah-ha’s, rage and acceptance.  I figure that I am somewhere a little past mid-way of this journey of this life time and it is looking more possible than naught that there will be future viewings of these little films.  Where those particular pieces of the puzzle will fit is not quite clear, yet.  Thankfully there is a focusing mechanism on this antiquated projector. 

 

I seem to be thriving of late with last minute decisions to do things.  Last minute as in spontaneous choice making.  A little out of character one might say except for the times when looking at a calendar of planned events makes me feel weighed down and suffocated.  Even when the spoken for time is meant for fun and recreation. 

I blame this schedule phobia or heightened anxiety to the many years of single parenthood, raising my daughter, alone.  All the while, working 2-3 jobs and attending college part-time and sometimes with a full credit load.  Woah Nelly.  Overload to the max.  I don’t think I ever quite recovered from the stress strain and demands of my time and efforts.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that any of that whole scenario was unworthy of my attentions, particularly the raising of my daughter part.  She was, and is and will always be, worth every single bit of care and consideration that I ever have or ever will proffer. 

I am just saying that I got worn out and used up in a sort of whole person, mind, body, emotions, psyche and spirit kind of way.  That even though I have re-charged and many years have passed since that totally uber time, there have been other demanding times (e.g., running businesses and grad school spring to mind) that have collared a lot of my focus. 

So today I am going with the flow and have decided to run out and meet the day in a retail sort of way this morning.  Wish me luck!  I’ll be with friends and family, which has it’s very own share of the upside and the potential downside ~ if you receive my meaning. 

Ahhh, life in the times of me.  I’ve said it before but it bears saying again, simple folks living simple yet extraordinary lives.  Yep.  That’d be me included in with that bunch, for sure.  Hope your day is a good one.

This past weekend, I had the honor of attending a mesmerizing performance at the local art center.  The story line centered on the friendship built between two men who hailed from different cultures and social contexts.  Two men on a stage led the audience on the journey of their friendship through the years against a backdrop of gorgeous and breathtaking photography and video.  One of the men was killed in the pursuit of his passion, wildlife and outdoor photography, and the remaining friend wrote a book which was subsequently adapted for the performance art piece. 

In the play’s program the director wrote about the “shallow and deep simplicity of friendship.”  He likened friendship to a river that we “often cross shallowly.”  He wrote that “[T]oo often we fail to see it [friendship] with the significance it deserves.  Simple friendship has depths that cannot be plumbed.” 

These words and the strong thought and emotion provoking dialogue between these friends have taken up their fair share of my head space this week.  Gotten me reflecting on the unremarkable and the remarkable aspects of my everyday friendships and the sustenance that each relationship brings to my life.  There are the friendship brooks and creeks, burbling and percolating along; the ones that mirror huge crashing waves of both ecstasy and despair; the streams that fill to overflowing in the spring and freeze up tight in the winter; the deep broad still lakes mirroring back who I am and the lay of the land; and ponds, some spilling over that may one day become a lake and other ponds that have shrunk and are in the process of drying up from seasons of drought. 

Some are ripe for plumbing the depths with the hope of revealing new treasure.  Others already plumbed, some with slightly disappointing results and others that inspired a big huge shazaaaam.  Not all friendships are meant to be plumbed but instead are transitory in their very nature ~ their gift made richer by their impermanence. 

I love the meandering creeks and eddies, the written word and the performance art pieces that live on in lively and quiet debates  ~ the internal plumbing of the soul, psyche and heart.

Yes, let there be light.  And I don’t mean light-ly falling snow, although the snow continues to fall in this Land of the Good Winter Faeries and Sometimes Bad Winter Elves.  The light I make reference to is the returning daylight minutes, which the majority (meaning all but 1 or 2 chronic complaining types) welcome with great anticipation and appreciation.  Because here in this Land of Perpetual Winter Except for When It’s Not Winter, the darkness swoops in, takes over and is loathe to leave.  But leave us it must as the daylight minutes add up 5+ at a time with each passing day. 

My daughter’s parents-in-law visited from much sunnier and warmer climes this past Christmas and the father-in-law expressed not really understanding the big deal about Winter Solstice since he thought it would be much darker.  The implication was that we Northern Dwellers were just a bunch of whining Whinertons.  I might add that the in-laws arrived the day prior to our precious Solstice holiday with their psyches and souls all lit up from their much longer daylight days.  Daylight days that I might add that were mostly filled to the brim with sunshine and warmth with only the occasional falling rain drops.  The essence of this little vignette is that they knew not of which they spoke.  They spoke from a not knowing or some might say a place of sunlit ignorance.  Good people.  Just wrongly informed of the pervasive ill effects of daylight deprivation. 

But folks, we’re well on the other side of Winter Solstice and the minutes have quickly added up to hours and we are close to 9 hours of daylight, possible sunlight per day!  Oh happy day ~ oh happy day.  Sing it with me now ~ Oh happy day, oh sunny day ~

Consider my spirit considerably lightened ~ lit up from within, due to a large degree to the returning natural light.  Oh blessed be.

February 2012
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