Sunday, May 20, 2012
(Note) The first part of this post is about two weeks old. The second installment is new.
Hello again. How have you been? I haven't heard from you in a while. What's new in your life?
For me, as of this moment, I feel sad. Yes, sad and melancholy. Outside my window, I can see the ditch full of water that farmers use to irrigate their fields. It flows in a smooth line, always moving and sure of where it's going.
The crab apple tree outside my window, where it was once wearing a gown of pink is now covered in green leaves. Its blossoms have blown away. I can also see my sister's horse in its corral. She brought it back from collage last night, and it looks better for the journey. She took a class in horsemanship, and I believe both horse and sister are better friends than when they first met.
Beyond the corral, the field of beautiful green grain is starting to head. Everywhere is green, and beautiful. I wish the green would stay forever. I wish the flowers could linger longer.
I wish that I could hold things that I love in my hand, and keep them close.
Yet, beautiful moments are like beautiful butterflies. They are most often times rare, they land only but for a short time. And when they do, you must hold very still, and notice, for they will quickly flutter away.
Outside it has grown cold. Cold and windy, again. I think the earth can't decide if it really want's summer. It's as if it's holding on to winter, holding onto it for some reason, not letting the spring and summer thaw its cold heart. I sympathies with its reluctance. Sometimes I have a hard time letting go of seasons of my life as well, even things as cold as winter.
It's as if the windy weather has blown into my life, taking me for a turbulent ride. I don''t like the wind to toss me where it will, just because it feels that I need to do this or that. I despise it.I hate how it gives no warning where it will blow, and what it will break. Instead I want to use those currents of wind to fly, and glide, and soar.This windy weather of life makes me feel rebellious. Ill tempered, and a bit like a rock. A rock that wants to be solid, sure, and anchored.
I just came from a viewing. The person in the casket was my dear friend's mother. I'm at a loss for words right now. My friend is devastated beyond words. She lay over her mother's body, weeping. Her father, and little brother are both so very sad. It is a sad time. Sad for many reasons. Sad because my fiend's mother still had a family to raise. Sad because her family needs her so very much. Sad because it was so sudden.
My inner critic whom I call "Olga," keeps on beating me up. She keeps on telling me that I was partially to blame for this. That, had I done something more, this sad thing might not have happened.
Last Sunday, my friend called me, asking me what to do for a high fever her mother had. I, and my mom, supposing that her mother had the same nasty flu we had just gotten over, gave her the usual advice----cool cloth, warm blankets, rest, and wait until it the fever breaks. After I told her that, I asked her to call me if her mother got any worse.
She didn't call.
On Wednesday I found out her mother died. I was shocked. My whole family was shocked.
My inner critic "Olga" was having a hay day calling me horrible things. Like worst friend in the world. You should have gone over to check. You really are never there for people when it counts....
As you can tell Olga likes to beat me up. She is judge jury, and executioner. She never is pleased at what I do, and she is a compulsive perfectionist. Someone whom is not very good company. My mom says that "Olga" is wrong. That my friend called other people and they gave her the same advice. That it wasn't just the fever..
Still, I have this overriding feeling of....what if? What if I had taken my friend more seriously. I had no idea that my friend's mother was that sick. There's always the what ifs. I could write a zillion page novel filled with "What if's of life." But it doesn't do any good to dwell on them. I suppose God takes the what ifs and turns them into what can be. He has this amazing ability to use every little thing in our lives for some ultimate reason, and purpose.
We just don't always know what the reason or purpose is.
It's Sunday again. A week since the phone call. A week. One moment, alive, happy and laughing. The next....gone. It's so weird. It's hard for my mind to grasp.
My sister and I were talking about now nice it would be if people had expiration dates. So that you would know when they would be making their way to heaven----so we could tell them that we love them, treat them kinder, be there for them. I guess, as nice as it would be, perhaps God doesn't want us to know for that reason. He wants us to live in the now. He wants us to rejoice in being alive. He wants us to treat ourselves and each other with love, and care, right now.
Right now is all we have.
That is why I believe following your heart, wherever it leads you, is so vital. Every day is a gift. Life is short, precious and powerful. The things you can do, the words you can write, the love you can give, is powerful. Your life matters. Even if you don't think it does.
Don't waste your time. Live your dream.
It is your life. Live it.
I am tired. The sun has gone down, and my fingers say they want a rest. So I will continue this post in the morning.
Sunday the 20, 2012
Hmmmm.......Hi again. Well I guess I lied. I didn't get this blog posted in the morning. Nor the next day, or the next. It's been another week. Or maybe two, yes I guess it has been two. Wow, I can't keep track of the time. It feels like someone has put time on blur. Where does the time all go? The warmer it gets, the faster time speeds up. It's like there's a time vacuum, and I have no idea where it all goes. I still haven't got this post up----Obvious statement. So I'll just add to it. I'm not sure why I keep putting off writing this post. Maybe I'm just cantankerous?
This week, the mood is very much changed. The weather is warm and balmy. I am feeling happy, and hopeful.
My book is coming along, and I'm excited to share it.
I just watched the eclipse with my family. Well... maybe watched isn't the right word. We tried to watch it. But you can't really watch the sun.
I tried my hand at making a pinpoint projector thingy. It was stupid. So I scratched that, and took pictures of the sun with my camera. My camera isn't that powerful, so it didn't really look all that fantastic. But when I got it onto my computer, I was amazed. You can see the sun, and then you can see this odd shadow below the sun. It's so neat!!!!I enanced the pictures of the sun just tad so you can see it better.
My sister got out my dad's welding helmet and we took turns peeking through it to see the eclipse. It looked pretty cool! But what looked even cooler were the shadows. At first you couldn't tell that there wasn't anything out of the ordinary going on. But towards 7:30 P.M the magic started to happen ever so slowly. But you had to pay attention, or you'd miss it.
The air was nice and cool, and the sky a warm yellow blue. Yet it was the shadows that told the world that the sun was taking some shut eye. The shadows told all, with their subtle curves, and soft edges. There was a sea of circular shadows, and little half moon shadows dancing on the backside of buildings, and anything that had a smooth white surface. The sky became subdued, dim, yet striking. The feeling was magical, like being between the realm of sleep and wakefulness. Evening, yet not. The crickets were chirruping in a loud chorus, and the mosquitoes were having a feast day on those who decided to linger.
Yes it was a magical evening. One that lasted only for a short while. Yet a space in which you could make a wish and somehow, you knew that it would be granted, even for just a moment.
This is the time in which my family and I had fun making shadows of our own. The sun's curved light made the shadows of our hands soft, and shaded, and a weird kind of curvy----probably something that won't happen for another 20 or so years.
This eclipse got me to thinking about the shadows in our own lives. The rare moments in life that the sun slowly hides its face, and we wonder what's going on.
Last Sunday me and my family spent the afternoon baking food for my friend's family who lost her mother. (The same one I wrote about) When the food was ready, we took it over to her house, and visited for a while. We talked about trivial things, things that really don't matter, but matter a great deal at the same time---things like clothes, and boys, things that make you forget pain for a short time.
When we made our way to go back home. There we were, all in a circle, my friend who lost her mother, her grandma, my mom, my sister, and another friend of the family. The topic changed to serious things. To those now gone. The Grandma told us that her husband died about a year ago.
My mom, feeling her pain gave her a great big hug, and told her that her husband had left her, and she understood her pain. It was a moment of truth. We all looked at each other differently, with new eyes. It was a rare moment. A moment in time I shall always remember. All us in the room, all feeling loss at some level. All united by pain, and comforting each other as best as we could.
Sometimes we don't know why bad things happen. They just happen. But when those bad things happen, its good to remember that you are not alone in your pain. Your boss, or your friend, or the stranger behind you are all hurting in some way. For some reason, at least to me, that thought helps me to look at people with kinder eyes. To remember that we are all human, and we all hurt. We all want to be loved, and to be understood.
And to give understanding to someone else is a powerful gift. It is like giving air to someone who hasn't had it.
We all have eclipse in life, where the dark shadow covers our sun. When that happens, I don't know about you, but when it does, I usually feel alone, and even afraid. I don't know if things will ever be the same, or if the sun will ever come out.
When the sun does come out again, we see everything differently. We are changed, and hopefully for the better. Maybe, just maybe, eclipses are a good thing. They shape us into different people, and help us to see the world with new eyes. So that when other people's lives are overshadowed by darkness, we are able hold up a light and take them through the shadow-lands into the sun.
I don't know why bad things happen. Perhaps God will tell us all the reasons why when we are ready. I do know that without the shadows, there would be no contrast, and with no contrast we would have no character, no depth. We would be a flat painting, with no light or no dark.
Maybe pain is what gives our lives shading, color, and real meaning. It brings us together and causes us to re-remember that the most important things in life are not things, or a destination. It is how we live. It is how we paint our lives. We move on from color to color, trying to artfully deal with each new challenge, adding each new color to our picture, without having it overtake our canvas.
So, if you're going through something hard right now. If an eclipse is blocking out your view. Try to see the magic in the shadows, the beauty in the changing light. Don't let it wholly absorb you. Let it add to your canvas, so that when others look at you, and your beautiful masterpiece, they too can gain courage to look towards the light.
Sorry for rambling so long. I do that....a lot.....
The pictures below are off the eclipse. Mostly of the neat shadows.