thoughtsgather

A space for my words to meander.

Month: February, 2013

Westward, together

He crouched on the floor of the packed subway train

8 00 am, I was work bound

I watched him. I questioned his reason why he was with all of us on that train.

We have learned-us and them

But what is this us and this them?

My leather purse in lap, iPod in ear

His clothes tattered, hair unkempt and face unshaven

My clothes carefully chosen, hair brushed, make up on

His hands covered his eyes, with the occasional glance outwards

He was traveling westward, as was I.

He mumbled words and peaked under his fingers

I wondered of his life. Grossly curious

I felt pity and then compassion

He and I

We both travelled westwards

Together

Riding the waves

This poem is based on a dream i had. Enjoy!

She stood on the rocky shore and watched as the winds twirled in the distance

The seagulls played in the wind, dancing between the clouds

As the winds blew she stood by as witness to the waves growing and the calm retreating

She watched the two boats only feet from the rocky shore, on which she stood

One rooted firmly to the sea floor. Anchored in place.

The other one adrift at sea but coming perisouly close to shore with every gust

The boat adrift was safe for a time, it was made of strong stone and boulders

She watched in awe as this stone boat stay afloat, but she knew

She knew eventually the strenght of the stone would no longer keep it safe

She knew that soon it would be dragged to the bottom of the sea

But for now, it floated despite it self

Out of the corner of her eye though, she could see the other boat weathering the storm, while anchored firmly in place

Riding the waves

The irresponsibles

Irresponsibility

Oh, how fun it must be to be the irresponsible.

Consequences

None

Oh, to live life and flit and flutter.

Trusting that your irresponsibility is actually the only responsibility.

Freedom from reality

But then, what is reality.

Who are the real irresponsible.

They are those who take life too seriously.

Those, who do not love, or live

Those who do not risks for their passions and their dreams.

Those are the real irreposnsibles.

In Appreciation

Below is a wish for myself. It is the future of me, as I become.

I did it for me. I did it for my daughters.

I stood before the mirror. Naked. I had scars and I still have scars. Scars that can be seen by the eye and scars embedded deep within. The beauty was always there but my eyes could not always see it.

It took love and it took time. It took acceptance. It took love.

Love. Love for me. Love for my daughters.

But my weight and my rolls kept me at bay. I looked in the mirror. Naked. And I finally saw. Me. I am not my body. My conscience, my being, my soul–they are not this body. But my body is my home in this life. Its health, its strength, its vitality is paramount to feel joy, to feel pain, to be. It is the eyes through which I see, the hands through which I touch, and the mouth through which I taste. It allows me to see love, to feel love, to taste love. In that moment I looked and I looked and I looked. I looked with love, with care and with compassion. I cried. I understood. No matter size, no matter shape, no matter moment, this body carries me. This body houses me, and this body deserves me.

That was the moment it all changed. That was the moment I decided to feel love. To be love. That was the moment I first uttered these words aloud:

May I be filled with loving-kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy

From that day forward, I began my mornings with those words, I ended my days with those words, and I repeated them in the moments of self doubt and in moments of pain. Slowly and surely I bathed myself in compassion, in the compassion I readily gave to others but rarely gave to myself. Things began to change.

No longer did food take mindless prominence in my life. It was integrated in a joyful and loving way. I took pride in my food and created meals with love. Gratitude and thanks were spoken before food was eaten. Farmers were acknowledged for their time and energy and my girls came to learn from where our food came.

And I ran but no longer from myself. I ran because it was love in motion. My heart beat loud in my chest. My breath strong, rhythmic, urging me forward. My legs slowly felt stronger, the jiggle dissipating. I felt strong and worthy. As I ran and as I nourished myself a strange thing happened. I realized it wasn’t about my weight. It was about my worth. I felt joy readily and I allowed myself to feel pain. And, the weight—it came off. And I walked tall and proud.

The chip bag crinkles loudly now. No longer do I shamefully sneak cookies hoping no one will notice. No longer are candy wrappers hidden in bedside table drawers. I eat them, blissfully enjoying each bite. And yes, there are still moments of weakness, moments I am not mindful, moments I am not compassionate. But I acknowledge those moments now, and I repeat to myself:

May I be filled with loving-kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy

Hope Floats

I was at my office last night when I received an email from my husband–subject line: Sad evening here. I, of course, became worried and anxious. It was likely Sadie who was sad, and I wasn’t there to put her to bed, to read her a book, and to give her a cuddle.

I then read the email.

With everything else going on in our life lately Sadie’s goldfish has taken a back seat. Yes, he’s fed, but his tank has not received the attention it should. It was pretty grungy. Apparently as Sadie was going to sleep my husband heard her yell from her bedroom “Daddy! Daddy! Fishy’s not breathing! Fishy’s not breathing!” Tears were streaming down her face. Yes, it did look as though Fishy was gone. But upon closer inspection they realized there was still some fight left in the little fellow. Emergency after hours tank cleaning commenced. Fishy was still barely moving, but looked perkier then he had. Sadie was praised for realizing Fishy was in trouble, but her dad also prepared her for the fact that he may not make it. And yes, we both thought that in the morning we would finding him floating atop the fish tank and we would need to again remind her she did all she could.

At 7:00 am this morning we heard another yell from Sadie’s room. She was in bed. This yell had a different tone. “He made it! He made it! Fishy made it!” Ecstatic. That is the only word I could use to describe her tone. Ecstatic. Fishy is indeed happily swimming in circles. He appears to have made a full recovery. Sadie saved his life.

Fishy was given a second chance because of the care of a 4 year old. And now we will ensure his tank shines. Perhaps we will even drop in another tree or two.

Goodness

Moments pass
Not infinite, finite
Gone.

Embracing passing time
Here and then gone
Goodness
And

Gone

Embrace the moments
As time
Does not wait

One day the moments will
No longer exist

Worry?

Why.

The moments urge presence
Goodness surrounds

In moments, goodness

It’s alway possible

Home

As summer approaches my thoughts drift to camp….

I always had a certain affinity for that dock. It was old, it was worn, and its safety was at times questionable. But, every summer, in the sometimes frigid mornings of mid June, I, along with my friends, who are now my family, would drag the heavy, cumbersome pieces of wood down the steep hill. Without grace or agility, the wood, more battered each successive year would be pushed haphazardly into the water. With torn shorts and worn t-shirts, we’d follow each section of the dock into the chill and fright of the awaiting water. The shore, bare and lonely seemed to be awaiting our arrival. In a matter of days the screaming, laughing and splashing children would fill the silence.

Each June those battered sections of dock were put together with love, with care, with humour and with patience. That dock, like I, had waited through fall through winter through spring to that day in June, that day in June when, with love, with patience and with humour it was to be put together, to be made whole. That place and those people gave those pieces of wood purpose. The pieces of battered wood were so much more than their separate parts. They became that dock. They became whole. They became what they were meant to be. And they were necessary. They became the focus; they became the gathering spot for laughter, for fun, for frolic and for quiet moments of contemplation. Like that dock, that camp also gave me purpose. It made me whole. It made me worthy. It was those late June days and early August mornings where I became. It was home.

The path down to that dock was surrounded by tall, straight, pine trees. Walking through the majestic trees gave the feeling of being part of something bigger, of walking through a path of history. The seedlings had grown, the birds had made homes, and if you listened closely, the woodpeckers could be heard under the shrill song of the cicadas bathing in the heat of the August sun. The original forest which had burnt to the ground had been replaced by hundreds and hundreds of pine trees planted in perfect, symmetrical rows. One path cut between them. Stopping on this path, and looking up, as I often did, and as I had seen others do, had a dizzying effect. It felt as though the trees had stood still, and that I was moving. I sometimes even put my ears up to the rough bark of those trees. I loved the sound of the creaking, the movements reverberating down the trunk. At times the slight winds that swayed the thin tips would change in an instance, and turn loud and howling. In those moments the creaks became loud crashes as the tops of one tree would bang with such force that branches would come tumbling down to the ground. In those moments I had to trust those tall thin trees. They were not brittle but flexible. They moved with the wind, became a part of it. They had stood tall and purposeful for decades. They did not fight the wind, they played in it. In this home, I learned too to stand tall, to play in the prevailing winds, and to be flexible in the moments when my nature wanted me to be brittle.

This was the place where I became. I became who I was meant to be. I learned to live, I learned to love and I learned to be. It was the place where I learned that who I was and how I was, was who I was supposed to be and how I was supposed to be.

In the spaciousness of the air, the sun, and the trees I felt free. There were no doors, no gates, no boundaries. It was freedom. The surrounding forests were thousands of variations of green. Light greens, darks greens, mint greens, more greens than my brain could decipher. The forests were dense and full of hidden treasures. In those days, I looked at the ground often. I looked at the sky often and the water and the stars often. I noticed the green moss that clung desperately to the moist rocks in the sun filled clearing. I noticed the grasshoppers maneuvering precisely but elegantly over a sea of browning grass burnt by the August sun. I took the time to lie on my back on that prickly August grass, staring up at the sky and enjoying the never ending characters that would appear and then seemingly vanish in the blue vastness above. I would lie on my stomach at the water’s edge, peer over and watch the tiny fish poke their heads out from the safety of the dock, looking for its next meal. The water rippling in the distance signaled the defeat of a small water spider. And the stars. At night I would put on my flannel pants, my mismatched vibrantly coloured wool socks, my tattered tan Birkenstocks, and my purple hoodie that would inevitably smell of sweet yet acrid scent of numerous nights spent in front of smoke from the campfire. I would lie on my back. It would be silent. The stars would be so bright they seemed to be talking to me in a language I could not quite understand, but they were telling me things I knew I needed to know.

I learned there that home is in the comfort of the moments. Home is in the comfort of the little things. Home is feeling whole in the majesty of the details. I was taught the value of loving the old. Canoes, buildings and tools showing the signs of age were not discarded but instead were lovingly and painstakingly brought back to life. There was little garbage, little trash, little waste. I composted before composting was trendy. I learned about the great value of a tiny earthworm. I learned that what looks like a most insignificant creature, can change the world. We were encouraged to look deep in the soil, to see the land, and to grow our own food. No, not everything we ate came from the work in the garden, but we had meals with fresh berries, crisp lettuce and the reddest, juiciest tomatoes I had ever seen. And, I played a part in that meal. The children played a part in that meal. We learned about what it meant to treat the earth with respect, to treat materials with respect and to treat each other with respect.

A fresh coat of paint, some oil here, some nails there ensured the preservation of time. I had my hands in that, I had my heart in that. Hours were spent patching canoes, sewing holes in tents, scraping old paint off the side of buildings, and then passing a brush over it to bring it to new life. And likewise, children were brought to a new life. Children who had been given everything they had ever wanted, who went to the best private schools and who had the latest fashions lived side by side with children who didn’t even know what it was like to have a home. They were equal. They were all important. They thrived, they were given a fresh coat of paint.

In the sometimes frigid mornings of late August, I donned my now even more ragged shorts, and worn t-shirt, and braved the cold of the water. Screw by screw, we took apart those docks. We pushed them to shore and with more care and more caution then we had in June, we rested them on the bank. They needed to last another fall, another winter, another spring. They needed us to be patient with them. We gently pushed and pulled the large pieces of wood up the embankment, just nudging them along, careful to not hit a rock too hard, to not drag it against the sharp pebbles and tree roots. They were guided to shelter to weather the months to come, to wait until the following June, when they again would be placed in the water. When they would be home.

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