Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Space Inside Stuckness

Sometimes I find myself slipping into an old robotic pattern, a certain contracted stuckness. This trance-like state of being shows up in different ways: reading late into the night and awakening tired, heading to the snack cupboard instead of going on a walk. Leaving a little late for an appointment and then rushing to get there, forgetting my goal of staying present in my life. As if this added drama gives me a life of purpose. I slip into a way of moving through my life as if I’m wearing blinders. There’s very little space for different choices. After all, that would upset the robot with blinders.

Help Me to Believe the Truth about Myself, No Matter How Beautiful It Is

This is the prayer we used to close my woman’s circle for the past 11 years. I had learned from the Sufis, but it was written by Marina Widerhehr. Last week was the group’s last circle. We shared “popcorn shapshots,” images of the precious and not-so-precious moments that have united us: the weddings, funerals, illnesses. The laughter and tears.

Since then I’ve noticed my own popcorn images: photos of me in the full bloom of my twenties and thirties. In the radiance of my forties and fifties. I noticed that only when I look at the snapshots from this distance am I able to see the beauty that I was. When I was younger my mind was way to full of the mosquito beliefs brought to me by my inner spin doctor. You’re too fat. Your eyes are too close together. Teeth too big. In a nutshell, There’s something wrong with me.

Reflections after a Dead Puppy Christmas

Every year at this time I ask myself the question. “Now where was I?” It’s as if I left “my life” for somebody else’s. Which just might be true, at one level. Always the holidays are full to overflowing with the unexpected. This year my daughter brought home puppies from a rescue mission that had gone awry and we set up an emergency vet clinic here, where we nursed and held half-pound infants, trying desperately to save them from the ravages of Parvo. Only one of 15 made it, and it was happily delivered on Christmas eve. In the middle of all this sadness, carols, games with friends, and the Beatles on Wii were islands of laughter.

Which brings up the big savior: dark humor. I’ve lived long enough to keep in mind the story in family history WHILE going through the tough stuff. This will be the Christmas of the Dead Puppies, and we will laugh. Soon.