Thursday, April 12, 2018

Facing Deep Waters

Right now life feels like walking through a sea of peanut butter.  I went to the doctor this week and received the news that I have a lump in my breast.  My genes aren't great and I suffer from a syndrome that means that I will have cancer again and again. This reality makes sure that I always know that every day is a gift and that I've only received so many of these wonderful gifts.

A precious counselor once told me that I was the bravest person that she had ever met. Some chose bravery, others have bravery thrust upon them. I'm in the second group.

I'm gearing up for a boatload of tests. A biopsy and the very real chance that I'm about to go through major surgery and then some chemotherapy.  At the same time, I am trying to write a painful book about experiences as a young woman who took a wrong turn into a Christian cult. Where is the strength coming from?  I reach out my arms to the Logos.  I always get this image of me stretched so far that I entangle in the stars. I'm rooted there. All things are possible.

With this heartening vision, I bring to mind that my great faith that life everlasting is another gift that will come my way. (My hope is that gift is for all.)  

I remind myself this life is the seed part of existence, and that I will someday shed this corruptable person for one that is incorruptible. Then comes the work of calling out to the Logos for strength to face the deep waters of more cancer tests and a biopsy.  After my hard work, I leave my cares with the Logos and turn my heart, soul, and mind toward the task at hand, my book of faith.  

This is the story of my bravery. I hope that it helps you as you journey on. I will work on my next book as I am able. A wise person told me this would be my masterpiece. It is certainly a difficult book for me to write. The only things guiding me right now are the glimmers of light that guided my life before I saw better days.  

For everyone out there, learn to live with your story. Embrace it. Share it.  

A doodle. 

A quote for your pocket.

"Don't close your eyes, don't close your eyes,
This is your life." Switchfoot

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

The Joy of Life

I am so deeply grateful for life. My faithful lungs pull in the air and push it out. I love movement and order. Every day is just the wonderful mix of moments. It seems alien to me that everyone isn't taking time to celebrate the chance to be. The other day someone tapped me and asked me why I'm enjoying a mundane moment so much. I answered that I love the moments.

It is enough for me to breathe and enjoy sweeping my floor, making my bed, hugging my cats, punching the water in water aerobics, writing my stories, chatting with my sweetheart, celebrating every good thing... It doesn't matter to me to be if I'm in the spotlight or waiting on the sidelines. The good stuff is I know myself. I'm never alone. I'm always loved. I believe in the mystery of good news. The Deliever is with me. I was born for this time. A time to live.

In a look-at-me world, I am content to live in the little realm of me where contradictions are often and so is laughter. I'm sitting on a gold mine. Everyone needs the freedom I've found in pursuing happiness. In life. In freedom. If today is the day that my words strike a chord or maybe a million years from now my words will be my day, still I will sing, I will pray, I will tell stories. I'm happy now, but I'm also happy to wait for as long as it takes. Exist, friends. Exist with all your might!

A quote for your pocket:

I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.
Walt Whitman

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Valuable, Precious, Seen

We live on a lifeboat called Earth. It is a fragile place, and the life on it is even more fragile. Put the name of the most despicable person you can think of in the forefront of your mind. This person is valuable, precious, and seen. Consider his or her point of view. I mean it. Let go of all you and inhabit the skin of someone you don't care for. Empathy, putting aside my truth to listen to your truth. It doesn't just happen. 

Here is someone I see in the news a lot: Kim Jong Un, a guy puts his stamp of approval camps 80,000 and 130,000 inmates held for political reasons. It cites evidence of systematic murder, including infanticide, and torture, persecution of Christians, rape, forced abortions, starvation and overwork leading to “countless deaths”. Now, go look up at the staggering loss of life during the Korean War in North Korea. If I had been born in North Korea and learned that one of the richest, most powerful nations on Earth led to the destruction of 30% of the people in my country, I might struggle to forgive. I might feel that nothing I have done is that bad, even if I made people who disagree with me slaves. I can feel empathy for a despot threating to kill me. Empathy does not make the despot right. It makes me merciful. 

All this empathy also makes me pray for chains to be broken in the mind and for captives to be set free. By the way, I am of the firm belief that the universe is created by a being of love who values everything in every crevice of this universe. I am unbendable in the belief. Hence I know that I'm heard. I fight against the hate with my whole soul. Back in 1908, Tolstoy was writing to Gandi: It is natural for men to help and to love one another, but not to torture and to kill one another. These words were written in a time of great turmoil and people were fighting with every breath warning about what was coming - WWI, WWII, etc. I pray for our better natures to rise. 

We need to love, strong love that stands against injustice not with violence, but with kindness. Don't use the hate speech of your enemies. Believe that better days will come. Cry out for leaders who are will to pay the price of love. Currently, the world is heating up with turmoil that I fear will lead to grim self-inflicted adversity planetwide. Let us evolve. If they throw a nuclear weapon at us because they are bullies and hateful, what will be our response? The stakes are very high. Our playground battles have escalated with toys that cause mass destruction. Will we act like children or grown-ups? Join the love team.  Blessed are the merciful, for they receive mercy.   

Whoever you are angry at, show mercy today. If a madman leads your nation, remember that insanity is a disease of the mind. The madman needs care and help. Not hate. Not curses. Frame every thought with love. Don't stuff cotton in your ears and act like injustice isn't happening. Call it out in love. Respond with the full force of truth, but truth not bound by love is not truth. Love is not hotheaded. It's not unkind. It doesn't fail. Ever. Make love your life's purpose. 

All are valuable, precious, and seen. ALL. Let us love one another. 

A quote for your pocket...

Here are the closing words of Tolstoy to Gandi:

What are wanted for the Indian as for the Englishman, the Frenchman, the German, and the Russian, are not Constitutions and Revolutions, nor all sorts of Conferences and Congresses, nor the many ingenious devices for submarine navigation and aerial navigation, nor powerful explosives, nor all sorts of conveniences to add to the enjoyment of the rich, ruling classes; nor new schools and universities with innumerable faculties of science, nor an augmentation of papers and books, nor gramophones and cinematographs, nor those childish and for the most part corrupt stupidities termed art — but one thing only is needful: the knowledge of the simple and clear truth which finds place in every soul that is not stupefied by religious and scientific superstitions — the truth that for our life one law is valid — the law of love, which brings the highest happiness to every individual as well as to all mankind. Free your minds from those overgrown, mountainous imbecilities which hinder your recognition of it, and at once the truth will emerge from amid the pseudo-religious nonsense that has been smothering it: the indubitable, eternal truth inherent in man, which is one and the same in all the great religions of the world.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Being Brave and Peace with Imperfection

Hi folks!

I hope you enjoyed last day of 2017.  We've made another journey around the sun! My favorite thing this year was when a genetic counselor told me I was the bravest person she ever met. These words shocked me. I have never thought of myself as brave. She was amazed by my upbeat attitude about my unfair genetic deal. My MSH6 gene is busted and that makes me more likely to have cancer than most folks. I have made my peace with being broken on a genetic level.  I live each day, and try to be the best possible version of myself. That said, no beating up the old girl if she stumbles. She can always change. I'm kind to myself and find kindness to everyone else follows. This is brave.

This year one of my many focuses has been to fight the American thing to be number one. Instead I've been happy to be invited to the party. Give yourself to whatever good works come your way. You have today and what you do with it is important. Vote for the good guys. Give your change to homeless guy. Notice if someone doesn't have a coat and buy them one. Be aware of the many voices. Don't be so danged proud of your point of view. You are the anchor of the lifeship. Hold the ship! Do the amazing stuff that pops in your head. Vision. Create. Share. Repeat.

I am looking forward to the year ahead. I plan to write the book that has been scaring the heebeejeebees out of me for more than half my life. There are things I don't talk about. For a writer, I have been especially quiet about the stuff that I should be speaking about. So the words are coming. Finally.  Cheer me on this year, friends. The cancer bravery is not half as brave as writing this story I'm not going worry about it being any good or not. I'm just going to do. I know it is a brave thing. That's enough.

So many of you who read my words are pots of treasure in the field. I'm surrounded by so many jewels it is a bit overwhelming. You give me such hope. Our light destroys darkness. It's just what it does. Let your light shine in this new year. Did you know that everything hidden will be shouted from the rooftops?

This bit from Dr. Seuss comes to mind:
"This," cried the Mayor, "is your town's darkest hour!
The time for all Who who have blood that is red
To come to the aid of their country," he said.

"We've GOT to make noises in greater amounts!
So, open your mouth, lad!" For every voice counts!"
Thus he spoke as he climbed. When they got to the top,
The lad cleared his throat and he shouted out, “Yopp!”

Your corner of the world matters. Your "YOPP" counts.

Here is a doodle:

Here is a fab quote for your pocket:

You know, my young friend, I will be ninety years old next year, and life is still a constant surprise to me. We never know what will happen next, what we will see, and what important person will come into our life, or what important person we will lose. Life is change, constant change, and unless we are lucky enough to find comedy in it, change is nearly always a drama, if not a tragedy. But after everything, and even when the skies turn scarlet and threatening, I still believe that if we are lucky enough to be alive, we must give thanks for the miracle of every moment of every day, no matter how flawed.
― Mark T. SullivanBeneath a Scarlet Sky

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Be Kind to Yourself

I am always filled with stories but lately, I have struggled to write them down. I worry that no one will ever read them.  I worry that I won't write a story that is compelling. I have worked for almost 30 years on writing stories.  My last book didn't connect with basically anyone.  I am unsure of what to do.  This keeps me hiding from the page.

I see this indecisive and writing less time as part of my journey. I know that my stories are well crafted. I do not know if they are compelling.  This not knowing state is difficult to navigate. It's the middle of the holiday season and my two goals are to beat this hanging-on-cold and enjoy my framily.  I feel the energy percolating inside.  I am not sure where this energy is going to lead. I am letting it build up and will see what happens. 

The writing journey is touched by emotions but is led by will. See the story in your hands and imagine that you connect with readers, allow for the lulls, and then, get to work. 

I hope that you are kind to yourself during your missteps.  Celebrate when you think or talk about your work.  Amazing is your destiny. Don't let the mulligrubs stop you.  Who know what will happen over the next hill. 

Here is a doodle for you:

Here is a quote for your pocket.

It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.  J. R. R. Tolkein