To be loved

Enjoy a lovely jazz piece with soloist, my daughter, Gabby, backed by the Willamette singers, Willamette University, Salem, Oregon.

*pic of Gabby near Austin, Texas*

showing up for life

I think one of the biggest areas of maturity for me was the idea of showing up for life and for people. Some days I would rather not go to meet a friend for lunch, take a phone call or have that extra moment of conversation at work engaging in another’s life and thoughts.  I’m naturally an introvert and it often takes an effort. Some days it would be easier to call in sick, not attend the meeting I promised, not go to the shower or going away party. I believe every time I shy away from important responsibilities or meaningful interactions with those I care about, I lose a bit of the richness and fullness of life. It is easier to live shallow some days than invest in the things I have in front of me; family, friends, coworkers, my job. This is a entirely different idea than saying yes to everything and having the inability to draw boundaries. I am personally very good at drawing boundaries. It’s taking risks, being vulnerable that I find more difficult. It’s finally doing a blog and putting my writing out there for the world to see. It’s saying yes to playing piano in public. It’s going to the birthday party that I know I may not enjoy but going anyway so the people I love will know I showed up for them. It’s taking my career seriously and investing my time to be the best neonatal nurse I can be. It’s choosing to have real compassion for the patients and families that I meet. It’s choosing to being incovenienced once in a while when the reason and the people are important. It’s like gaurding a treasure, my life, in a meaningful way, so that I don’t lose it through laziness, selfishness and carelessness.

*picture taken by my husband summer 2019 in Rome*

church

I have an odd history with church as many do. On one hand I thoroughly despise the power and manipulation over people’s minds that is an inherent part of religion. On the other hand I know I will never quit going or finding a refuge in those moments when I come together with others, as a body of people, in a moment of reverence and peace. It’s a love/hate relationship. It’s like the government. We need the government for various reasons (some of which we can agree and disagree on), however every government, even the best of them, has corruption somewhere inside. Similar to the church. Great reason for them not to co-mingle. One of my favorite bloggers, Gigi, of hitandrun1964, recently put a quote by George Carlin up that I totally agree with. “I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death”. My parents were loud evangelical christians, who promoted a very heavy handed, conversion style, pro-discipline (read child abuse), ugly talking (read discrimination towards all sorts of people). Despite them, I came to believe in a loving God. I rejected that sort of christianity and still have a visceral reaction to those who promote God and political agenda out of the same mouth. However, I have a deep and abiding strength from my faith and belief in God. My husband is a minister. He got into the gig about halfway through our marriage (we’ve been married 25 years).  One reason I was attracted to him as a human being was his ability to have a strong faith without being an asshole. However, little did I dream he would become a minister…ergo, I became a minister’s wife. He decided to go to seminary somewhere in his 30’s and ended up becoming a minister. He loves church ministry. He has a vision to make the church a vibrant and helpful part of the community. He had a very healthy and positive ubringing and relationship with the church of England (he’s a Brit). Think of all the things a minister’s wife might deal with and you are pretty much spot on.  People make all kinds of assumptions about me. My family struggles with living in a fishbowl.  However, he’s a great guy and very balanced which makes him a great minister. I’ve taken a number of steps to carve out a space for our marriage, our children and myself to protect our autonomy and privacy. On the way home from church today my daughter and I were listening to Sam Smith, the vocalist. What a voice that man has! His songs are filled with inuendo about church. His songs echo gospel, choirs and are filled with references to church. However, they are not church friendly. They are anti-church. His songs remind me of my internal dialogue and struggle when I see how people are manipulated by religion, strong personalities, sects, cults, brands, the religious right, political/church power. As a woman I find the church often male dominated and misogynistic. I feel alone on this subject. I resonate and identify with those who reject religion and have been bullied by people who say they speak for God. And yet, deep inside my heart there is a space where I find hope, healing and restoration in my Faith in God. Such a paradox.

 

*RHINO district, Denver*

JOY

the enemies of joy are comparison and regret

I believe we should look to our own houses

live in today

refuse the net of shadows that entangle us when we cast our eye on another’s marriage, home, health, bank account, state of mind, education, country, car, job

I believe we should look to our futures

from today

cast away the chains of regret, throw down the shackles which bind us when we recite the litany of things that could have been different; our heritage, upbringing, family, choices, journeys, mistakes, addictions, moves, lovers, failures

I believe we should embrace all that made us who we are today and be content with all we have, who we have and who we are

if change can be made then make it but if change cannot be made then embrace the things that stay and make them the best they can be

take away the seats of comparison and regret and invite joy to sit at our tables

*RHINO district Denver*

the quiet day

the quiet day

whose minutes tiptoe around my mind

I can play with words

lose those minutes and then hours

frittering them on notes that dance like galaxies in my head as I play

walking them away in the coolness of the evening

reading them away in stories and poetry

thinking about nothing and everything long and hard

I love the quiet day

 

*a pic taken by my daughter on the Oregon coast*

giving up

I find myself unable

to save those whom I love

in the way that seems best to me

for one who likes control

to see them spinning out

sometimes engenders blame

guilt

hopelessness

it is in giving up

in handing over the lives of those I love

to themselves, to fate, to their choices and the whims of the universe

that peace comes

I can love them without saving them

support them without rescuing them

find joy in their success

not judge their failures

keep an eye to the heavens

where the vast infinite starry mass

has seen this all again and again and again

 

*picture taken in RHINO art district Denver*

 

what?!

This one I don’t need to write a damn thing for!

It was the tiniest piece of art, maybe 6″ X 6″,  on the bottom of a wall in the RHINO district of Denver, famous for it’s street art, much of which I have used throughout my blog.

We walked by it several times before I noticed it peeking out on the bottom of the wall. No words needed here, the art says it all!!