Monday, November 22, 2010

Waiting

I’ve never been good at waiting. I’m a doer, a let’s-tackle-this-problem-and-fix-it kind of person. So when circumstances demand that I just wait, I squirm a bit. Now, I wait for my youngest son Scott’s twins to be born...any minute, but each one seems long indeed. In a year when much of our news has not been good, it is difficult to adequately describe what these babies symbolize for us...hope, courage (it was not easy to create these little ones!), renewed lust for life, and certainly pure joy. I’ve been invited to be there for the birth, which I would dearly love to do, but given the nature of the unknowns, it is unlikely. Still I yearn for the moment when I hold the little boy and girl who will be my next grandchildren and who will be welcomed with such love. Scott and JoAnn will be wonderful parents, and it will be fun to watch this family grow.

I also await the completion of my second book, Dance on a Dirt Road, due any minute. It wasn’t easy to create that either! There are some apt comparisons to giving birth, I suppose, like laboring over each step, many months of anticipation, and finally holding your creation in your hands. Not to be compared in scope or importance, of course, but creation feels good. It feels like Thanksgiving!

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving, and safe travels wherever you may be going. Here’s a poem appropriate to the day.

Thanksgiving

The day is full, food and laughter,
music and games, richly laden tables
and flowing wine.

Before the day is gone, blessings
retired to the back of mind,
look around the room.

It is in the faces you see, the hands
you grasp in love, that bliss resides.
This is what you seek.

Touch tenderly those who gather
this day, remind yourself that it is all
you need – you are rich

beyond your dreams.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Poem I Wish I Had Written

One of my favorite things is to find a poem so beautiful, so elegantly expressed that I want to read it over and over, tasting the delicate combination of words and phrases and feeling it internally like an affirmation. This wonderful poem by Derek Walcott is just such a poem. I think it speaks deeply to a yearning we share to come to a peaceful, loving place where we forgive ourselves for shortcomings and flaws. I especially love the last line. I hope this speaks to you.

Love after Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door,
in your own mirror,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread.
Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart,
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate nots,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

--Derek Walcott

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Making Life Happen

Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of our moving into our home, and I spent some time thinking about how events in our lives actually happen. I remember quite clearly the day I spotted a drawing of a home on a "house plans" website. Knowing less than nothing about home building was an advantage in my case, as I suspect I would have been intimidated by the thought of picking a picture off the internet and saying 'this is the home I want to live in for the rest of my life.' But that is essentially what happened, and after about a year of floor plan drawings and 8 months of construction, we moved into a home that really was a dream come true!

My point is this: the realization of a dream always begins with the germ of a thought, a 'what if' speculation  that starts everything. Sometimes it is a change of direction or a change of mind, that leads to an action, perhaps almost too small to seem significant.  Of course, life also has a way of throwing rocks in your path to dissuade you from action. It is often a moment when an inside voice dismisses the thought, ridicules your dream or urges you to be realistic. But that voice can also be ignored in pursuit of what you know is meaningful or important to your life. It requires action, however small, to set wheels in motion.

I sat before a darkened window one morning and watched the unspeakable beauty of a sunrise that set the sky aflame and felt an urge to write a poem. It opened a place in me that I did not know existed. Since then, I have come to know the voice within that leads me to a deep place where I find expression of my most profound self. Now I await the publication of my second book of poetry, and I wonder what would have happened if I had stayed in bed that morning and missed the sunrise. Such a small thing, but it began a whole new aspect of life for me.

What small action today might make a difference for your life? What is your dream?