I feel sad
when I hear someone refer to happiness
as something to find,
an elusive, external destination,
something to procure,
a barter with life
that requires specific parameters to be met…
rather than happiness as something to realize
like an epiphany,
a bloom that grows from seeds always there…
and then I realize
I let something external,
an action beyond my control,
affect my happiness…
and so I let it go
The night I
saw the stars
I wished only
on the first but
then one fell and I
knew they would all
one by one,
I wish I might
- the jigsaw puzzle with one piece missing
- the white fuzz on a black shirt.
- the Gibbous Moon, so close to being a perfect circle, but not quite…
Our minds naturally notice what is missing or imperfect. We want to recognize regular shapes and patterns to make sense of the world. We seek order in the seemingly random. When something falls short, we are drawn to the lack – to flaws that disrupt the sense of completeness or perfection. It tugs on the mind. So close, so close…
- a home with all of its quirks and challenges, still everything, still home
- a child after a complicated pregnancy, and the child after that
- the circuitous path of self-discovery, unfolding as delicate onion (tears and all)
- a place to be, the culmination of life up to this moment, the value of the past
- the future path that wants to unfold in its own time
Blessings are everything they need to be, at the time they need to be.
Love grows with the quirks, the deviations that make a person unique. Imperfections speak of a journey and confer individualized beauty to the one who bears them. Just ask the Moon. It is perfection of a higher order.
The heart is home. The mind is adventure. The heart and the mind each live a journey. If you’re lucky, the paths meet. The mind notices the lack but the heart sees the fullness.
Wisdom is a shy cat that sits in my lap when I stop paying attention to it. It likes to arrive at unexpected times. In a business meeting, someone said, “If it’s not a deal-breaker, let it be.” I wrap the words carefully and bring them home.
Life is iterative. Not everything comes at once, or comes at all. Faith is knowing that the things that belong to you are already yours. Each seeds will grow to bear its own fruit, if nurtured.
The imperfection and the lack are not deal-breakers. The Gibbous Moon still lights the sky and casts shadows the same. Don’t discredit the 99% full because of the 1% lack. It’s what makes the Moon more interesting than a perfect circle.
The day led to many places, but the night circled back to me. And I found a fullness that included the lack, the way life’s perfection is.
Two dolls wrestled in Sundoy’s hands. “The dollhouse is not a contact sport,” I said to him as he dropped the dolls down through two floors.
He stacked the toilet on top of the dining room table. “What’s for dinner?” he asked as he fell over laughing.
“This isn’t Skylanders vying for control of the Universe,” I said, “This is a dollhouse. We want to play with it like….” I trailed off. I was going to say like girls, but my thoughts offended me. I chided myself for a generalization based on gender. “…like a dollhouse,” I finally said. I thought even that sounded ludicrous, as if play involved pre-defined parameters. Children are the experts at play, after all. Who am I to instruct them?
It surprised me that Sunboy’s 7-year old ideas upset me when directed at the dollhouse. But then, I remembered, I never had a dollhouse as a girl. I realized at that moment that the dollhouse was fulfilling something I had latently felt was lacking. Although I had bought the dollhouse for Flowergirl, the dollhouse was also for me, a re-writing of my childhood. I wanted Flowergirl to have what I didn’t have. I wanted to watch her play with the dollhouse the way a 3-year old girl would naturally play with it. The way I might have played with it when I was her age. And I didn’t want a boy to show us how.
I took a mental step back. I noticed how much fun they were having. The light was streaming in the window. The figures in the dollhouse were posed to watch a movie together. Their miniature world was enchanting and captivating, a world of our creation with endless potential to begin again. We could hone the details until we found the right combination. My children were laughing together. They discovered the bed could turn over to become a rocking cradle for the baby. Oh, what I was missing while I lived in my head.
Moments appear suddenly, like shooting stars, magical and fleeting. I memorize the feeling, the pose, the light now gone. Moments defy capture, and slip through the nettings of word and photo, leaving elements behind as a touchstone for the mind. I had burdened myself with context and history, and in doing so missed the beauty of now.
I returned to playing with them. Being a parent means always having a willing, enthusiastic playmate. The hard part is remembering how to live in the moment, as a child.
I sit to write about you, cat,
in bed, but you won’t come…
a soft arc from the floor below
lands next to me, my head -
a pause, the paws, to find a spot
then flop beside, and warm,
a willful purring pillow
for heavy head or arm
then sniff to wash my ears instead
…today I nap alone
Your ra-rowr di-syllabic call,
ten days ago, treats pounced and thrown,
the grabbing with your mouser paw,
…sweet days of fur and tail
Now you rest with apple wood
near lilac, holly, where you ran
when slipped out from the dining door
my Morpheus Proudfoot,
We come from nothingness, unbodied,
birth will borrow everything.
Life expands itself with living,
when days are done, we’re asked for more –
the excess that we build, soon flooded,
difference kept with those who mourn
I will remember you, for you
…and for me
Morpheus Celestius Proudfoot
beloved companion and unique kitty
August 2, 2002 – December 31, 2013
We didn’t send Christmas cards this year, but here’s what our card insert might have said…
Overall, 2013 was a terrible year, but we cleared the dark corners, accepted some things we’d rather avoid and found a new place.
We both changed jobs. I finished writing my poetry book and became a regular contributor to Peaceful Daily. We celebrated ten years of marriage. My husband had back surgery. We discarded the remnants of a former time, and came closer to embracing the now. Flowergirl learned to write her name. Sunboy learned to play chess. We floated in a sensory deprivation tank for the first time. We played in the river and gazed at the stars. We discovered our beloved Maine Coon kitty Morpheus has a cancerous growth and will soon become three-legged. We rounded the wagons and then defiantly opened our arms, in hope.
The work done in 2013 was difficult, but has brought us to a better place. The exception to this is Morpheus, whose fate is still in question (send prayers and positivity, please)…
I am choosing to see 2014 as the Waxing Crescent after the New Moon of 2013. I wish you all peace in the next phase of your journeys. As always, thank you for your kind engagement here and on twitter (note the name change).
Remember: Everything is built from remnants of what was. So, yes, you can build from it, again.