I’ve made progress on the sweater that was restarted so many times… but not during this past week. Time was not on my side last week. Between ER visits and worry I’m not sure how I managed to get my schoolwork done on time – let alone work – I barely slept all week…
Tonight we are resting – at the moment all is well. Isaac just finished his first college class, Levi is safe in his own hospital bed here at home… I’m lying on the couch in the Christmas-light glow, Yuki-kitty stretched out across me, the warmth of his weight and the gentle rise and fall of his breathing radiating peace. The fire is gently popping and crackling in the woodstove, and across the house I can hear the boys singing their Aves as they pray the Rosary together in their room. I am so tired, but all is well.
I’m hoping to get to Mass tomorrow – we’ll see how things are in the morning. Illness has kept us away for awhile now. Tomorrow’s to-do list is already long, and just thinking about this coming week feels so overwhelming, but tonight my soul-self is resting in the warmth of the fire and soft kitty sighs. At some point tomorrow I hope to have time to pick up my needles and add a few more rows to that sweater…
As we enter into the holiday season folks, remember we are all trying to bear the weight of life with Grace – and it’s so heavy. Let’s be gracious and grateful…
And have a blessed Thanksgiving this week my American dear-ones. May both your hearts and your tables be full.
I am a gatherer by nature… And nature tends to be what I gather (that and books 😉). My dear ones know this about me and accept it according to their own relationship with “gathering” — they are patient with me. 😊 (Not everyone wants to move the world inside simply because it’s too beautiful to leave outside the door!) My book-end sister went for a walk the other afternoon and brought home these beautiful Fall-fire maple leaves for me — simply because she knew I would love them. Look at how they reflect such a deeply-rich frequency of Light!
My mind knows well the science of color — how each one reflects a different frequency from the bandwidth of the Sun (or firelight, or candlelight – indoor bulbs or fireflies – each source its own texture). I know how these reflections enter our eyes and gift us the world around us… All we know of the world, we know as a reflection. We do not see the world itself – we see what it reflects to us. But that does not negate how it all touches my soul-self — my mind, my will, my emotions. We ourselves are also vibrating at our atomic frequencies — it’s only logical that we would be moved by other frequencies we come in contact with… like pond-ripple rings after a stone is skipped.
I am basically unable to filter much of the input from this world — all the myriad frequencies of light, energy, and sound — I feel every one, and often still have trouble sorting through which ones require attention and which ones should be allowed to pass through me (or possibly fill me until I feel like I might burst). But Fire-fall maple leaves are a no-brainer — they Grace my desk this week while I work — there my eyes feast and my soul finds moments of rest in the busy day. Is this self-care? Perhaps — this deep frequency briefly brings mine into its rhythm — entrainment in action. It is a small thing, but beauty’s call should always be answered in whatever frequency it’s sent… even in the small things. Maybe especially in the small things.
Accept the world’s reflections with soft eyes and tender hearts, dear ones… How we receive them shapes how we see it. We’re all just trying to make sense of what we’re living…
You know – I don’t notice it when I see myself “in real life” – though I realize that doesn’t happen very often. But when I see a photo, the first thing I see is the way the stroke almost 20 years ago still shapes the face I wear today. Those who don’t know what to look for probably don’t immediately think “stroke,” but it’s easy to see that something is “off”… anyone who knows what to look for will recognize it right away.
We’re used to symmetry and pattern in human faces — it’s hard to pinpoint the difference in mine, but it does show up in the stillness of a frozen frame. It feels less noticable in person — where there’s movement and message to make up for what is missing… But that fall down the stairs made permanent changes in my life — as if it wasn’t already complicated enough at the time. Life can always find new ways to force growth.
I was looking through photos the other day and had to pause to consider how different my life would have been without the wide variety of mountains and valleys that have been part of my journey. Is the beauty of the ordinary less vivid for those who’ve known nothing else? Or does it still find a way to tear open the veil between “here” and “there” in the most sheltered life — to reveal the surprise of joy even if there has been no grief? But then again, I guarantee the human life that has never known grief only exists in fairy-tales… and even in Story there must be evil to be defeated in order for a victory to be told. We all know our own darkness of the soul.
Perhaps the softness of my gaze on the ordinary Graces of life wouldn’t be part of my path now without the harshness I’ve known. Maybe I just wouldn’t notice… or maybe my soul would just sleep through it all — sunlight on rain-soaked leaves glowing with its touch, the sound of dear voices in the other room woven through with laughter, fingers tracing beads of prayer and silky kitten fur, the scent of the river after the rain…
This journey is hard, but if we travel with tender eyes we may be more alive at its end then when we began — even if we gather a soul-full of scars on the way.
Be gentle, dear ones, we’re all tired… #aliveandwell
This week I had to admit that I can’t continue to work toward my degree at half-time, plus work full-time as a public health nurse, and properly care for the boys right now while trying manage the current chaos of life. I had to drop down to one class — which has all sorts of frustrating ramifications – not the least of which is financial. Financial aid isn’t available if I only take one class… This means, I have to pay for this term before I can register for any other classes — which means I won’t get to attend next term. When Spring term gets here, I’ll have to pay out of pocket to take one class… and so, it will be even more years before I finish my Bachelor’s Degree. I started at 17 – so I’ve been trying to finish for well over half my life – I’m so close now, and yet so far away still. My advisor did suggest I take next term to explore scholarships — no one has suggested that before — though I still have a 4.0 gpa after 166 credits. Maybe I’ll qualify for something… maybe not. Jumping through red tape is not where my gifts lie.
(Side note: The Professor began his Animation degree this week and has done well so far! He’s had to spend quite a bit of time in bed with his head injury symptoms, but he is happy to be working toward his goals. I wish he didn’t have to go into debt for an education – but such is life in America.)
On a brighter note, this book of poems arrived this week as a balm for my weariness with the world. A dear new friend of mine suggested it, and I’m so glad she did. Sometimes (often) a poem lends words when they are needed most… and right now mine seem to have fled — I have little time to do more than miss them, and even less time to search for them… Without writing regularly, I feel like I’m just surviving — just reacting to the new difficulties of each day, rather than actually processing and living my life. Right now, I need the words of others to give my thoughts breath.
So, thank you poets who weave words for the world — where would I wander without you?
This week, Night has swallowed our long evenings entirely and we have missed our twilit walks. It is not just too velvet-dark to walk safely, but the evening chill suddenly means business when it bites your nose and toes.
Suddenly…finally… It is truly Fall.
And today the rains returned to this corner of land I’ve known for so much of my life. In the Pacific Northwest, I don’t think we are ever going to be used to the long spells without the rain — and her return has brought with her a sense of relief. It’s not just the relief from the fear of wildfire-blaze — it’s the sense of home-coming after a long journey, or the gentle peace of the moment when all is well… the moment before the day has begun with all its coming weariness, and yet the night has passed, with all its faceless fears.
And tonight – the rain is playing her music on the roof of our home –leaving the air brighter for the coming morning — the world heavy-green with the scent of wet earth and bracken… The warm blankets I’m wrapped in are my protection against the nighttime chill, and the cats have settled down with me for a cozy night of listening to the song of the rain as she brings her hope again. Down the road, I know she is falling into the width of the river’s welcoming embrace, where together they will journey to meet the sea as one… Such an everyday mystery-miracle… We could learn a lot about journeying together from the rain and the river.
It has been a dark week for my soul — there have been many moments I have been too overwhelmed to even cry. I am just not good at walking this world as a person… Basic things are so hard for me to remember – eating, sleeping, etc – and they get harder when life is overwhelming. I am as much of a puzzlement as my boys — straight A’s in my classes, but I can’t figure out how to make the phone calls I need to make…
I will probably never be good at being embodied on this planet — but that doesn’t stop my soul from knowing it is beautiful to be here… especially in the cleansing rain.
Be kind my fellow sojourners in this world – life is hard – remind each other it is beautiful.