For almost as long as I can remember, I've been scared to death of death. I went through a phase as a insomniac pre-teen where I would lie awake all night, imagining the void. The idea of having no consciousness for the rest of eternity absolutely terrified me. And hand-in-hand with this fear was the sense that I couldn't survive the eventual death of my beloved father. How would I exist in a world he wasn't in? These fears haunted me.
But the truth I've discovered is that even though my dear dad passed away in 2015, I don't live in a world without him. He lives every day in my heart and I often imagine that I can feel his funny, loving presence around me. In fact, I feel like we now have the relationship I always longed for with him. And so my greatest fear has become my most precious gift. I find I no longer fear death. It has made me re-evaluate a lot. I wonder what other great gifts await me. What great gifts await you in this beautiful alchemy of life?
I ran across this quotation twice today and I thought to myself, "I need to remember this!" I wondered where to put it and then I remembered I had a blog! Hope anyone stopping by enjoys it as well. It resonates so deeply for me right now. Just love, love, love...
Your life will have a kind of perfection, although you will not be saints. The perfection will consist in this: you will be very weak and you will make many mistakes; you will be awkward, for you will be poor in spirit and hunger and thirst for justice. You will not be perfect, but you will love. This is the gate and the way. Whatever you desire for yourself, wish the same for others. If you expect something from people, give the same to them.
There is nothing greater than love. There is nothing more holy than love. There is nothing more true than love, nothing more real. So let us hand our lives over to love and seal the bond of love.
This was the view out our back windows last weekend. So fun to wake to a magical fairyland and still have the roads be clear so I can get to the farmers' market. It's quiet over here these days. Well, on the weekends. During the week is a whole other story, but these days I really do love it all. I love the non-stop activity of my work and the way it pulls from all my different strengths and interests and sometimes pushes me right to my edge. And I love the weekends and the deep rest I plunge into with naps, reading, movies, and more naps. I read this passage yesterday in Meghan Daum's beautiful book, The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, and it rang so true to how I feel about my life these days. I feel so blessed.
"My goal in life is to be content. By that I don't mean 'fine' or 'basically satisfied.' I don't mean settling. I mean, for back of better terms, feeling like I'm in the right life. Contentment, for me, would mean living in a place where I felt like part of a community, doing work that feels reasonably meaningful, surrounding myself with people I enjoy, respect, and in some cases love."
Yep, all that.
And here are a couple of other things I'm loving these days:
Jim Jarmusch's gorgeous Only Lovers Left Alive. Crazy title, crazy cover, crazy Vampire Movie premise, but, man, this is my new favorite thing. I can't recommend it enough!
Wow! I just went back and read my post from January 1, 2014. That was a hard time and I'm sort of impressed by my moxy that I chose the word ENJOYING. Huh. Quite a word to choose when you're shaken by so much death around you, some I mentioned in my post and some way too hard and scary and huge to bring up there. And with Saturn in Scorpio, on an astrological level it was also not looking like it was going to be the easiest year. But ever the optimist, I chose ENJOYING. I can't say that word sums up the year completely, but there are certainly things I enjoyed. I loved getting time with family, even under really hard circumstances. I look forward to more visits in 2015, hopefully under more carefree conditions. I definitely have enjoyed seeing Rodg feeling better and making amazing music. I've really enjoyed being super lazy after quitting school and rediscovering the pleasures of reading fiction and napping, often as a combined activity for vast swaths of time. I've enjoyed slowing down and developing a healthy respect for rest. I've enjoyed some developments at work that allow me to follow my heart's calling in a more direct way. OK, maybe it wasn't such a bad word, but I am not choosing it again for 2015. This year I'm choosing PEACE.
This word has followed me around for years. Decades ago I was obsessed with an amazing woman named Peace Pilgrim. Almost a decade ago I received Peace Dancer as my Buddhist name. And as a surprising development, I've discovered recently that I can slow my whole nervous system down if I say "peace" to myself while I breathe out. This is like magic to me, since I've been tormented by a speedy nervous system for several years, if not my whole life. It feels like shorthand for "Peace be with you." I'm not trying to change anything. Not trying to take my inner crazy and make it peace. What I really feel I'm doing is seeing it all and surrendering to it in a deep way, bowing to it and saying, as we did in my favorite part of church services, "Peace be with you." I may not understand it. I may not like it. But I'm done wasting my energy trying to figure it out or make it different. I'm done with the fight.
So, too, may peace be with you all in 2015. May peace be in your own deep hearts and as a result in the crazy, mixed up, beautiful, broken world we're all lucky enough to be in. Peace.