Loved

img181It is windy today outside my studio window.  Sun. Cloud.  Spring, and the weather can’t make up its mind.  I’m voting of course for sun, my favourite.  It is warm enough to have the window open.  The air smells cool and green.

Fresh air.  That is what I am inviting in today.  I’ve been thinking about disappointment, what it is, where it comes from, what melts it away.  I’m airing out an old belief here on the page.

I woke Saturday morning with the oddest thought, flashing by so quickly I almost missed it.  But I didn’t.  I caught it.

There, caught in the net of my awareness.  I am a very young child, a baby.  Baby-me is thinking ‘I am a disappointment’.  The adult-me watching this knows this is referring to my parents.  This is all feeling, no words, but adult-me is translating the feeling.  Accurately.

A feeling that becomes a belief.  Baby-me is believing that I am a disappointment to the ones I love and who love me back.

I write this, and now I ask myself, ‘Have I believed this all of my life?’

Yes.

Is this belief true?

My heart says loudly, lovingly, firmly, No.

I can tell that my head still believes, despite my heart knowing the belief is not true.  I trust what my heart says over the belief that sits in my head.

Time to sort this one out.

I was born with crossed eyes, strabismus the doctors call it.  Some cultures believe that people with crossed eyes can see both into the future and the past.  Cool.

Not so cool for first-time parents, though, who are loving and worrying about their brand new child in equal measure.  And then there are all the well-meaning family and friends who are saying……

Continue reading “Loved”

Einstein’s big question

Note to Myself: Entering Hope
Note to Myself: Entering Hope


I began my life as a busy joyful wild thing, all play and curiosity and imagination.  We all start this way.  Then I began learning about the world I was living in.  This is what I was told:

Be careful.  Don’t be so noisy.  You’re too loud.  Stop yelling.  Watch where you’re going.  Don’t fall.  Be quiet.  Don’t cry.  Stop that.  Don’t touch.  Stop running.  Slow down.  That’s too big for you.  That’s too much.  Give it back, it’s not yours.  Leave it alone.  Wait for your turn.  Let them go first.  Be a good girl.

Now, I get that most of these messages are good advice in their immediate context.  ‘Be careful’ is vital if I am crossing a street.  I do need to look both directions before I step out, and I do need to pay attention until I am on the opposite side.  ‘Don’t touch’ is wisdom if the object is a wasp nest or a burning match.

The problem is, as a child I heard something else under the spoken words.

This world is dangerous.  Bad things happen.  If I make myself careful, quiet, small, invisible, I might get through safely.

I was hearing I am supposed to be afraid.

Albert Einstein had a big question that requires a big decision.  Do we live in a friendly universe?  I hear the unspoken part of that question—or do we live in an unfriendly universe?  What he was talking about is a choice between love and fear.  Which way do I wish to live?

I know, without even thinking, that my choice is love and a friendly universe.  What I was taught and what I learned as a child, though, was fear and a hostile universe.

Everything I am learning now, and everything I write, has Einstein’s big question at its base.

Am I choosing love or fear?

I didn’t like living in a world of fear when I was a child, but I didn’t know how to be different.  Everyone I knew lived like this.  I was sort of okay with it, until I discovered I had a choice.

Acting on my choice of love and a friendly universe is not always comfortable.  I have to be paying attention to myself all the time, my thoughts and beliefs and expectations and actions.  I have to keep myself from falling into the ruts, the old habits that fear cut into me.  I have to be willing to notice when I am afraid, open to it, and see-feel what I am afraid of.  When I know, I can choose differently and change my reaction around what is happening.  Create rather than react.  This is choosing.  When I choose like this, I am walking in the friendly universe.

The good thing is, choosing love and the friendly universe is a habit.  The more I pay attention and make the choice for love, the wider and smoother I make my path.  Eventually those old fear ruts will be flattened out, disappear underneath the paths of love I am creating across them.  The choice and change get easier and faster every time I do it.

So ask.  Am I choosing to live in a friendly universe or an unfriendly universe?  Love or fear?

I choose love.  Welcome to the friendly universe.

____________________________

Mentioned in this post:

Albert Einstein, 1879 – 1955   http://einstein.biz    http://www.alberteinstein.info

 

Sunshine Part 2

Archangel (Michael)
Archangel (Michael)

 A friend tells me I have a heart like velvet.  Soft, warm, beautiful to touch.  I like that.

The last three days, though, I have a heart of barbed wire.  All thorn and cold steel string around an empty space.  What happened?

Mostly, life happened, and I fell out of my way of being.  I fell out of my heart.  Crashed.  Bits of me all over the place.  I hate chaos (yes, hate is the right word) and suddenly here I am, all chaos.

I know I learn from everything I experience.  Right now, I am learning to keep my balance.  Life gives me a push sideways or backwards, trips me up, and like one of those toys with the roly poly bottom, I rock myself back upright.

That’s the theory, anyways.

My barbed wire heart is too heavy to let me tip back up again.  Its weight is keeping me off balance.  The barbs are sticking me to thoughts and feelings I do not want and do not like.  Old patterns, old reactions.

Learn, Cat.

Two weeks ago in ‘Sunshine’ I wrote about all that was crashing into people I love.  Now I am answering for a second time the question I asked then.  How do I stay sunshine when this is happening?

Continue reading “Sunshine Part 2”

On holidays (yayyyyyy!)

Magdalene
Magdalene

 

Yes I am on holidays.  Have been writing anyways.  Today’s post is short short.  I am sending love.

 

I dreamed I was water

cupped in your hands

running down your arms

pooled in your heart

flooded overwhelmed

tears washing your feet

returned to the earth

fulfilled.

 

We live in a world of love, if only we have the eyes to see it and the heart to feel it and the will to choose it.

Play Again

Hand Over Hand (embroidered mylar banners)
Hand Over Hand (embroidered mylar banners)

Saturday, all day, I played with my friends.

We are the Crow Girls, artists all, and writers, film makers, house designers, chefs, gardeners, musicians, mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, a grandmother, aunts, cousins, friends, imaginaters-extraordinaire.  You’d never guess from all that, there are only four of us.  We are much bigger than we look.

All artists are much bigger than they look.  It’s a secret.  Don’t tell.

All day we talked, laughed, danced, played games.  Ate wonderful food.  Sipped green tea and wine and cool water.  Coloured in new colouring books with brand new boxes of crayons, 24 colours for each of us, 96 crayons scattered in joy across the table.  Told stories about our lives, real and imagined.  Planned and dreamed.  Spoke secrets out loud so we no longer carried them alone.  Inspired each other into our grandest selves.  Rejoiced at the lake and sky and trees and wind that watched us from the windows.

This is play, pure joy, friends creating a world that loves us just as we are.  Saturday, we gave this gift to ourselves, a day of play and friendship.  I can imagine no greater gift to share.

I offer it to you.

 

We Are Play

We’ve worn out the day,

my friends and I.

Made it long with laughter.

Voices echo in the late summer air,

come home, it’s supper time.

We sort and pack the tools of our trade,

triumphant in our hands.

Loops of skipping ropes

and Double Dutch songs.

Silver roller skates

and keys on strings.

Hopscotch stones safe in our pockets.

Crayons packed into cardboard boxes

(pack the broken ones last).

Carrie and Cathy

And Marilyn and Nadine.

Fran and Wren

And Yvonka and Cat.

We are play,

done for this day.

Comics traded

and Nancy Drew

ready for reading

late, as the mosquitoes hum

outside the screen

and the night bird I have never seen

hides in the cedars

and calls the sun to bed.

 

Written for the Crow Girls—Fran, Wren, Yvonka, and me.  Your friendship is a gift.  Thank you.

Thank you thank you thank you, Sir Terry!

terrypratchett

I just found out five minutes ago that one of my favourite creators, Sir Terry Pratchett, has died.

My first reaction was no no no no no no (continue ad infinitum).

My second reaction was seeing him greeting Death with no surprise at all, unlike many of the characters in his Discworld books, and then beginning a conversation with Death that I expect will continue for eternity and delight both of them.  I am sure that Death will no longer experience any boring spots in his existence with Sir Terry at his side.

terry.death

My third reaction is this.  Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your awesome gifts of humour and words and vision with all of us!  Your books inspire me, and so do you.

________________________________________

Mentioned in this post:

Sir Terry Pratchett, 1948-2015.  www.terrypratchett.co.uk

Let go

thunder and storm
storm

 

I knew you when you wore anger,

when your steps across the floor

were thunder and storm.

I knew you when your words were fire,

enough to burn the world

and set the air to flame.

I knew you when your pain was hard and sharp,

nailed between each breath

and beat of your heart.

 

For you I stand witness.

No need to speak.

Just reach.

My open hands hold love, unseen.

It is yours, a gift.

I place it on the cooling ash

and let you be.

 

 

Sunshine

If I Could Bottle Love
If I Could Bottle Love

We’ve had a full week of sunny days, and counting. How delicious!

I am a sunshine girl.  Warmth and light. Green growing things reaching their way out of the ground.  Songbirds and crows and squirrels noising up the backyard.  Bees and hummingbirds burying themselves in the rosemary blooms.  My studio window open to catch the clatter and hum and sweet air.  I am made for this.  This is glory.  This is me.

I breathe deeper on sunny days.  My body relaxes, releases the armour it wore against the cold weather.

I am a sunshine girl, but how do I stay sunshine?  A big question for me because these last few weeks all kinds of things are crashing around me.  Not onto me, but onto people around me who I know and love and wish only the best for.  My heart wants to stay open and loving for them and me.  How do I do this when another’s pain and sorrow comes bumping against me? How do I stay sunshine?

A grandmother’s death.  A family member with a virulent cancer, another injured and struggling, another with an untreatable aneurysm, yet another with a tumor ‘mostly’ removed.  Two long-time friends with cancer.  And household disasters, a broken water pipe, a flash flood, and more.

Life is life.  I signed up for all of it.  I know I can and do create my life.  I know that love is always my answer.  Yet my heart’s instinct is to protect itself and close against the sorrow and pain now standing beside it.

A closed heart can’t love, can’t feel love, can’t share love, can’t be love.  Closing my heart is an old pattern and not the answer.  I know this, too.

I remember.

I remember holding my son when he cried.  I can feel his small warm body curled against me, my arms wrapped round him.  Rocking him, and rocking and rocking, slowly, gently.  Humming to both him and myself whatever song comes into my head.  Always it is a love song, and never the same one twice.  I feel his distress as though it is mine, and yet my heart remains open wide as the horizon.  My love holding his pain.

This is my answer.

Hold my family, my friends, and my life as though each is my beloved child.  Because they are.  My love for them is no different than my love for my son.  This love, my love, shines like the sun, warming all it touches, them and me.

Yes, I am a sunshine girl.