Monthly Archives: February 2013

Me, Unearthed

I wear my soul a bit more on the sleeve than most. I’ve been this way all my life. When I was young I thought I was flawed. I felt different. I was different. Still am. Only now, I see the beauty inherent to my peculiar makings. When little I wanted to fit in. Now, I hope to never fit into any mold made by man. God knew I needed to be the person I am, just as I am, to carry out my intended work. I believe this for me. And I believe this for you.

With every day that passes, I dust another layer of mind-interference away from my true self. Discovering me is like an excavation; one that has required a lifetime. I’m still unearthing aspects that until now, were hidden.

Sometimes after having chiseled away a hardened belief that no longer serves me, I discover a fear I hadn’t seen before. I no longer sit and view these findings as evidence of faultiness. I don’t believe we are, at our core, faulty. I view the fears within me as sensitivities requiring my attention and nurturing hand; much like a child that needs a bit more help than its confident sibling. Uncovering a bit of fear, insecurity or doubt is not proof of imperfection. It’s proof of my evolving. All of these things rest within. It’s simply up to us as to whether we bring them to light, where we can better examine them, and see them more clearly. Things that are smothered tend to stir more than those freely allowed to breathe. Or so it is with me.

The me that I brought to light a year ago is only a fraction of the me that is writing to you now. From my earliest days I was able to see this deeper version of myself. It was never completely hidden. There it sat like the tip of a stone jutting from the dirt. Except for most of my life, I saw it as a hindrance. Something upon which I’d often stub my toe. But then one day, I decided to dig.

When all was said and done I wanted to know who I was. I wanted to connect with the deepest parts of me. And as with any deep unearthing, I extracted the broken bones from my past; doing so was a must as they sat atop my greatest treasures. I cried at the sight of both. I don’t believe we’re required to be perfect. If so, then we are perfect just as we are – today – whether in a state of joy, fear, longing or contented. I’m no more perfect today than I was a year ago. I love me now, and I loved me then. The difference being, the more I unearthed, the more there was to accept and choose to love. I had to find the courage to love my many broken bones. Now I display the broken pieces from my past along side that which sparkles. Both have the ability to shine under the sun. It’s up to me to dust them off, and place them there. The sun can’t shine upon those things left buried.

I will be an excavator of me upon my final days. Upon my lips will rest the residual echoes of sweet sincerity from one surprising discovery after another. If there is such a thing as fault, then let that fault be when I didn’t have the courage to get my hands dirty; when I chose not to fall onto my knees and dig within – and not with those things I brought to light. I feel lighter with less things buried. One needs to lighten what’s on their chest if they are to breathe. And so with that I dig.

Sane

Total Submergence

Photo by Bruce Mozert, 1938.

Photo by Bruce Mozert, 1938.

There are times when we dive underwater to explore what rests below; to discover what can be found at such great depths within ourself. And then there are times when we go under not from our own choosing, but because something forced us under; our fingers slipped, and without premeditation, we suddenly let go.

I’ve found that almost all of my answers can be found from looking within. Some answers I placed there years ago. Others surprise me with their appearance. Memories dwell inside us like colorful coral reefs. And when the time is right we swim gently around every outcropping, allowing ourselves to live in the memory.

If one is prepared to be underwater, then it is a place of beautiful exploration. Downed ships still retain some of their prior glory, even when shrouded in loss. But it is when we are there without oxygen; when we wake in the morning, to discover we’re already buried under the pressure of our worries. Those are the times when it is the hardest to swim.

As a writer I know that some of my best work has been brought to the surface due to these deep-sea excavations. Emotions so rich with life, memories so raw they haven’t lost their tangible feel. I gather them in my arms, and like a child I drop them on the shore to examine under the sun. Even painful memories appear different when cultivated with intention.

When one finds themselves there without the security of a chest full of air; those are the moments when one feels only that of the tide pulling them under. They see the light from the water’s surface grow smaller as they fall softly deeper. All is dark. All is quiet. And they feel completely alone. There is no glimmer of excitement held within their eyes. These are the moments that sweep through us all; some softly and occasionally; some with a repetitive force like a wave that never grows tired of arriving. Whether from catastrophic news, heart-break or loss, we go under. We notice a peculiar detachment between us and the world around.

I began writing my first novel while suffering from total submersion. That one book was the final gasp of air from my inner being, my soul. I often slipped under the water’s of my life; beginning as a child that used it for escape. The familiarity of being submerged felt oddly comfortable; like a coat that didn’t fit, but because I wore it so often, I knew it well.

Being underwater, searching one’s great depths, is a fantastical excursion when done with purpose and oxygen. When we go deep to discover our core truths, to make peace with our history, our hurts, then this journey is one that brings us into alignment with who we are. It’s a necessity when it comes to one’s evolving. But when one goes under not from their own choosing. And feels only that of water filling their lungs, then their world goes black. My soul chose writing a novel, for me to later read, as a way of taking its final breath; bringing light to my dark places. From that day on, I’ve become very adept at deep-sea travel. I know all that rests within me. Some things aren’t lovely. But they are part of me; they have purpose. I could either look at a downed ship as complete failure, or as a bold attempt; one that made me stronger in the end. I reshaped my entire life after writing my first novel. My soul didn’t want to drown, it wanted to swim.

So if you find yourself sinking. Open your eyes. Use your strength to look around. And then, when the time is right, come up for air. Fill your lungs, and never again, turn a blind eye to all that is within you. You’re strong enough to swim.

Sane

Behind the Glass

I wonder how we would live if tomorrow were to be our final day. What things would we say that we’ve previously held silent. What feelings tucked in the shadows would we bring to light.

It’s an odd thing to look at life this way. Instead we feel we have more days left than we can count. And due to such, we live with methodical movements. We pace ourselves. We take the things we are compelled to do today and force them out into the future; when its appropriate. We reason what actions are best done now, and which should remain stagnant in an inertia of our own doing. Our mind tells us to live this way.

I often live this way, and yet I don’t feel it’s for the best. What would happen if we lived with wild abandon? I have to imagine one’s soul would finally be allowed to spread its wings. I know my wings are constantly bucking against the walls of my own restraint. Who’s sensibilities are these that we use to dictate the movements of our lives? Surely not our own.  Fear, perhaps.

At first this sounds like such a preposterous notion; to live as if it were one’s last day. And yet, I have to believe, anything I feel worth doing, should be done – today. Does it become more credible, worthy or concrete if pushed out? Some day and one day, are words best used for things of little value, not things of importance.  My parents lived with a repetitive motto spoken between them, and that singular motto was: Someday. That day never came.

These may sound like the meanderings of a free spirit, but please know, if tomorrow morning your life were to meet its end, then today would have been the perfect day to say all that needed to be said. Today would have been the best day to treat yourself to those things for which you’ve denied yourself; little pleasures, too luxurious for the you of today.

One morning I awoke like every day before it. Yet by that afternoon my life hung in the balance. Even with that life experience sitting as a cornerstone of my existence, my rigid sensibilities often stand in my way. Life is to be lived. God frowned upon a lukewarm existence and quite frankly sitting here right now, so do I.

Claim this day and make it your own. Turn your imaginary desires into reality. You’ve pondered long enough. Action is needed. Action is the time when the body gets to feel the exuberance of faith in action, of desires come to fruition. Give yourself a moment. Think of those few precious things that you’ve put into pause for reasons of your own making. And ask yourself this, “If this thing that matters so much to me, is worthy of doing then, shouldn’t it be done now?” Because now is all we have. We are in a continual cycle of now. Even when we tell ourselves we’ve arrived at a later fixed-point in time, it’s really just a different version of now. I realize that sounds confusing. It needn’t be.

All the words sitting silently on your tongue need to be spoken. Your thoughts are just as worthy as anyone’s – bring them to life. Our soul is waiting for us to release the pause button. Our soul is waiting for us to find the courage to step into those things we feel too grand to pursue. We deserve to live that reality – now. I want this for me. I want this for you. I have to wonder what we would all feel like if we lived our lives in full. No restraints. No compartmentalized, rigid ideas of proper timing. To me the idea of living in full is much like that of standing in an open field on a warm summer day. Open for possibilities. No longer living behind the glass, I’m now open for life to infuse me with all it has to offer. Often these restraints, are my own. I’m unbuckling them. I’m releasing them. I’m spreading my wings. I don’t want to look at my dreams, I want to live within them.

Sane

Heaven and Earth

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I’ve been sitting here holding crystals in my hand. I love the idea that these tiny rocks were once a part of the earth. Now they are mine, and I’m allowed to roll them in my palm.

Holding these stones, culled from the depths of the earth, into the light, it occurred to me, I won’t ever marry again unless the man is prepared to move heaven and earth to be with me. And I need to be prepared to do the same. I will teach my children, and perhaps even my step children the reasons behind this very important decision.  What we do for our partner over the course of the first six months reveals the blueprints of the entire union. We can’t ask from one another to build a skyscraper if the blueprint for which we are viewing shows that of a cabin. It would be unfair to both involved. All we can do is allow the blueprints to unfold and both decide from there.

As a man, never should you be with a woman who wants anything more than your heart. Because there may be times when your heart is all you have to give. And because she chose you based on the makings of such, by your side she will remain even during the worst of times. And as a woman, embracing the makings of a man’s heart is the only way to know, if his motives are fueled by the energy that will endure time.

Pay attention, I’ll tell my children. With loving eyes watch the way things take shape. The first few months tell most everything. If during that time a man doesn’t feel inclined to remove boulders to find a way to get to you, I’ll tell my daughters, then he isn’t worth your effort to be with him. Because there will be times when life throws a few obstacles your way. If he isn’t determined enough, or impassioned enough to fight for you when all is well – he never will. And to you boys, don’t panic. If heaven and earth sounds a bit heavy. It needn’t be. The lifting of it requires effort, thought and heart. That’s all. And she will notice. It’s in those little things that will give you the woman with whom you want to spend your life and your bed. If you want her to show you her divine femininity, treat her accordingly. Treat her with the utmost of attentiveness and tenderness. I assure you, she will reward your efforts by returning the same. And if you want her to give you her body, take the time to embrace her mind.

Dear sweet girls, remember, some of the very best men haven’t a clue of what they are doing. If their moves are cohesive, it’s from habit. Back away. If they fumble, take delight, the curtains are being pulled back on their heart with unpracticed movements. Allow them to be boys. Don’t fault them for the very thing you want most from them. Allow them that. Remind them of their strength, as the strongest amongst them often fails to see it for themselves. And remember, love one another not like you want to be loved, as that is the other’s job to do, but love them as they want to be loved. That is why they want you. Don’t forget your feminine touch dear girls, it is the one for which they most desire. And men don’t forget that even though your hands are strong, treat her gently. It is because she is delicate that you have chosen her.

Granted these are just the musings of a simple little writer. But I say, go be bold. If the blueprints make you smile, then let love remove the boulders, and let love lift the heavens. Don’t settle for less.

Sane

Wild Horses

I hadn’t planned on writing this evening. But sitting here right now, it’s the only thing I can think to do. It’s the only thing that feels right. Then again, writing is like breathing to me. It’s the time when the horses within me get a chance to run free across the meadows of my mind.

I wish I could warn you in advance as to what I’m about to write. Except, I have no idea what that is. I rarely ever do. Like always my fingers sit poised atop the keyboard, and then they move. And with that my mind opens. And hopefully when all is said and done, I’ve touched your soul and lightened mine.

I’ve had so many thoughts on my mind lately I noticed I’ve taken to crawling into my shell of introspection. Of course while there, I’m not the only one about which I think. I think about everything and everyone. But also, while there I’ve noticed the certain flavor of angst sweep across my taste buds; the one needed to return to my third novel. Within almost every emotion I have, those ranging from the darkest to the lightest, there is a flavor. Like a spice, they have a purpose. Some are used sparingly; when not my life becomes overwhelming. But then there are those emotions that are so pleasant I only wish I could taste them daily.

I sat in a small Catholic church the other day. While sitting there I prayed. I prayed about the person sitting next to me. And I prayed about my life. Then I began to look around. I noticed how some were listening, some were busy passing the time. I had to wonder of those whose faces were pointed forward, what were they thinking. Were they off in their own meditative state, or absorbing the words being spoken. Afterward, if there had been a pop quiz, I wonder how everyone would have fared. If you were wondering, I was doing both. But I wasn’t there for that, I was there out of an expression of love for my friend. I wasn’t there for the sermon. In fact, I tend to physically feel the confines put on God when I enter a church. But I appreciate the moment for what it represents for all those gathered there. I can find no fault in the ways of others when it comes to trying to commune with a higher power.

So on this Valentine’s night, feeling a bit unsettled inside as I am, I will recline and listen to my favorite music. I will continue to drink this surprisingly good Malbec, and commune with my higher power. I will give voice to all that is on my heart and mind. And if left unconfined, a soft voice will answer. That is the gift I will give to myself tonight. It’s important to be surrounded by those that you love and love you on a day that celebrates love.

I do hope you’ve had a very pleasing day. If you are the kind that eschews such holidays as this, then no worries, it’s almost over. If you are the kind that is heartbroken due to being alone, then take comfort, it’s almost over. And if you are looking into the eyes of a beautiful friend or your life’s love, then dear sweet reader, savor every minute because it’s almost over.

Sane

Loved By Me

If, like me, you find yourself alone on Valentine’s Day, please do as I do – treat yourself well. As the spotlight shines down and reveals that you have yet to end your day looking into the eyes of your life’s love, or even that of a mere lover, use the day to look into yourself. And when you do, please do so with kindness. Fall in love with you.

It almost seems like a superfluous concept – to fall in love with one’s self. And yet, it is your self that will follow you wherever you go. It is yourself that will talk to you when no one is there. Your self will damn you. Your self will love you. The belief you have in yourself can cause you to crumble or it can cause you to reach unprecedented heights. The energy and perspective you put into you – you will receive from you in the form of inner knowing, conviction and peace.

On this day, instead of giving free rein to a mind that critiques and reminds us of our failures, come to peace with those moments when the outcome for which you had most hoped didn’t manifest. Think about giving yourself credit for having survived something that, at the time, felt like death. When you look in the mirror, instead of seeing the effects of time and stress, see a face that has viewed some of the ugliest of circumstances, and yet can radiantly shine when caught up in laughter. And when you look down at your body, try not to see those things that cause you disappointment. Try to remember that your body is giving you it’s very best, dependent upon what you are giving it. Furthermore, if your body is like mine, it has moved through hell and back, perhaps more than once. And when the time comes that you are confronted with your life’s love, they will see your beauty – because doing so is inherent to the nature of who they are. A divine love is divinely given, and thus sees the divine in us even when we falter and struggle to see it for ourselves.

Go easy on you. I would recommend that you take every day to treat yourself well. But if not, then please use tomorrow as a celebration of the love you are cultivating for you. Making peace with yourself. Loving your many attributes, thoughts, hopes and dreams is the beginning of the most important relationship one can have – the one we have with ourself. You will be with you during your greatest successes, your deepest disappointments and upon your final day. And if you are blessed to meet up with your life’s love, you’ll then be coming from a place not of insecurity, but of acceptance. You’ve accepted you, which will allow you to accept them.

I won’t deny that the favorable ending for tomorrow would be in front of a fire or wrapped in the arms of one’s lover. That would be my chosen route. But instead, I will endeavor to treat myself well. I will remind myself of my own beauty. My triumphs. My successes. My gifts. I will also spend the day spoiling me as I would wish to be spoiled by a partner. I will stop off and enjoy the taste of something delectable; its a fair assumption dark chocolate will be involved. I will peruse my favorite boutiques and I will allow my body to get pampered. Most of all, I will go easy on me. And my hope is that you go easy on you. Whether you are loved by many, loved by one or only loved by you – never forget – you are quite special.

Sane

Love Me Do

Those of us who are divorced, the growing majority, know first hand the crushing truth that marriage can be about as empty, and un-fulfilling, as white bread. It isn’t the bread that’s at fault, it’s the quality of the ingredients.

I’ve been thinking a bit about marriage; if it carries any value, what it means to me at this point in my life and would I ever sign such a contract again. My conclusions are that the contract means nothing to me. In fact, I could buy a home with the money my divorces have cost me. That piece of paper is just that – paper. If the two people signing it do not possess certain fundamental emotional attributes, if the depth and purity of love is not there, then the legally binding contract is similar to that of a prison sentence. Or at the very least a bit like when we blindly joined Columbia House as kids because the lure of ten albums (or in my case, 8 tracks. Yes I’m that old) for a penny sounded like a deal. Instead, months later we owed money and were filled with dread at the mere sight of a new shipment arriving in the mail; all of which culminated in our parents, now angered, having to write threatening letters to free us from the mess.

But then it happens. We see that elderly couple walking hand in hand. Our heart melts. And we secretly wish to call such love our own. We weren’t meant to be solo birds. We want only to have that ‘special’ someone in our nest. But we also don’t want them uprooting, bludgeoning or otherwise destroying the nest, or us. We also don’t want them flitting off while we’re out busy yanking worms from the ground.  All that proved was that this person was not that ‘special’ person. Important for our development, but not our life’s love.

We can’t throw our love interest onto the table, grab a pair of tweezers, and begin dissecting their emotions. We can’t plug them into a machine with gauges and needles showing sincerity. It’s all a bit risky in that regard. And therein lies the reason so many of us avoid the mess altogether. But love is a constantly regenerating force that lives within. The best we can do is look back at our past not with anger, but with appreciation for all that we have learned. Life gives us those experiences with the hope that one day we will make the choice that brings us closer in alignment to who we are meant to be, and to whom we are meant to be united.

Marriage has the potential to be one of the most beautiful expressions of love two people can have for one another. But only if the conviction, commitment and love is there. Two people who love one another, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, have no need for a contract. They are bound by something much more significant than legalities. Those with no need for a contract, are the one’s who are best suited to sign a contract.

Whether you choose to ever marry again or not, remember that it isn’t the paper that matters. It isn’t the pomp and circumstances of the event. And God knows, appearances are of little value. What does matter is the love. It’s the only thing that makes anything worth doing.

Sane

Love Me Do – The Beatles