Vaporizing the Grumpies

maya-angelou-quoteI was on the ferry this morning feeling kind of grumpy.  Well, really grumpy actually.  The boat was running super late due to the crew performing practice emergency drills at the dock — some kind of MARSEC moment that put the crew through a feigned tizzy in the event of a credible security threat.

I was doing walk-on this morning and wishing that I had opted to drive on.  Brrrrrr!  It was cold.  I stood on the dock in the winter rain, cold, and wind for the added 15+ minutes, awaiting the go-ahead to board and wishing I had worn more winter layers.  I stood there, my back to the biting wind, my numb fingers texting Continue reading

The Way Things Stack Up

Stones pyramid on sand symbolizing zen, harmony, balance. OceanThe way that things stack up don’t always make sense.  You look at a rock cairn and you see dissimilar shapes and textures and sizes.  What doesn’t naturally fit together neatly and perfectly into one whole structure has the potential to allow for balance to offset the dissimilarities in size and shape.

Cairns represent a balance that requires delicacy and a measure of hope. They offer natural beauty presented in a random-deliberate-natural sort of way.  A lot like life.  They do not ask for some added adhesive that will make the balancing act a little easier.  The rocks defy gravity by leaning on each other. Cairns have the potential to  stand for a very long time.  They represent the possibilities that I might have overlooked otherwise.

I am thinking that cairns in the right setting appeal to me.  I do like to see them on the beach below high tide such that the tide will roll in and eradicate the evidence of man — restoring a different natural order.  The ocean is persistent that way.

I have an old scale that I bought at an estate sale.  This scale has seen better-balanced days.  In order for the pointer to balance the beam, I had to add several tiny antique French coins in one of the weights pan.  The coins bring everything up to true.  Balance.  What is it exactly?  We seek it.  We desire it.  We believe that we would appreciate how it feels . . . if we could only be certain that we are actually experiencing it.  There are books and poems and songs written about balance.  Still, I do not know exactly what it means or how it feels in my life.

Vision Board 058We weigh decisions.  And justice.  And mercy.  And priorities.  And options.  We weigh fairness and love and life.  We somehow intuit when something isn’t feeling quite right, so we start to mess with the scale.  We add more coins.  Or we pick up a different rock to add to the cairn.  We deliberate.  Or we sometimes say the-hell-with-it and just give it a go.

Life’s events tumble together, and my carefully-constructed towers of well-thought-out plans are strewn all willy-nilly.  Sometimes I am left with the oddest of pieces to balance back together again.  I see the beauty in the pile of rocks that are before me, and I seek guidance and allow my intuition to lead me.

I recently read a great Irish proverb: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.”   I so agree.  A good laugh is like medicine and a long sleep restores the body and the soul.  Along the vein of cairns, I was thinking about which life blessings provide me with balance: laughter, sleep, forgiveness, appreciation, humility, kindness, patience, travel, adventure, discovery, learning, courage . . .

The way that things stack up at times doesn’t always make sense, but I continue to attempt to counterbalance with those things that point me to true.

 

 

 

 

Try Something New: That Which Is

I read the quote below from the back of a book printed by Bell Tower Books.  It speaks of such beauty and reminds me to celebrate Now.  To accept the present moment.  To remain focused on That Which Is.

“The pure sound of the bell summons us into the present moment.

“The timeless ring of truth is expressed in many different voices, each one magnifying and illuminating the sacred.

“The clarity of its song resonates within us and calls us away from those things which often distract us — that which was, that which might be — to That Which Is.” — Bell Tower Books

Magnifique, non?

And while I am thinking about life and bells and ringing in the truth, I thought of these Leonard Cohen lyrics from “Anthem”:

ancientpoint.com

ancientpoint.com

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

What a great reminder that even though things might not appear to be “perfect,” I still want to be a’ringin’ on the bell.  And the cracks?  Those things in life that give us pause to question?  “That’s how the light gets in.”

This thought is of enormous comfort and encouragement to me.  When we don’t try to camouflage the cracks by stuffing them with “stuff” and distractions and placebos — measures we take to disguise That Which Is — and we choose to allow the light to enter, we acknowledge our vulnerabilities, our humanity, our humility.  It speaks of allowing and it speaks of embracing.

We hear that nothing is perfect, that we should lower our expectations, that we shouldn’t always expect perfection.  That there “is a crack in everything.”  Maybe when we consciously and graciously expose our cracked bells to the light and share our vulnerability, we are creating moments of perfection that are inimitable by anyone else on the planet.

This may sound idealistic as I do protest when life is not lining up just so.  I freely admit: I do like my Days of Perfection.  But.  Then I think of my Sweetheart, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my random dance partners, my students, my pets, my neighbors, my doctors, my family who is no longer here on the planet with me . . . the list is long when I take the time to appreciate the immense support of my faltering, cracked, light-exposing humanity.

Life.  It is beyond amazing.  It is sacred and spiritual and appreciated in ways I cannot express.  I understand that these words have been spoken, sung, written before.  People have devoted their lives to ringing their bells and expressing the wonders of being alive.   Every day truly is a gift.toaster oven

There is so much going on behind the scenes in the bell tower that I am unaware of.  Good stuff that I don’t notice or appreciate.  There are those certain and special days when I get a glimpse of the magnanimous machinery that is moving to keep the planet spinning.  It is humbling in the best of ways.

My goal today: Embrace That Which Is.  Appreciate the larger picture.  Ring a bell and say thank you.  Say I love you more often today.  Smile more.  Write a real letter.  Tell a stranger that they are awesome.  Do not be embarrassed by snorting when I laugh.  [Okay, now I am really laughing out loud! :)]   Dance for the security cameras.  Leave a goofy voice mail message for someone.  honey-beeDress up in a costume with my best-est friends and make a video.  Be happy in That Which Is.