Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dining with Strangers

I ate dinner with three women I do not know, and my mind is still digesting the conversation.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We All Fall Down

One second I am happily chatting to my brother while walking down the familiar sidewalk of North Santa Cruz Boulevard.
The next second I am flying through the air.
I’m not dreaming. I am falling.
I hit the ground with the entire right side of my body, arm outstretched, hand clutching my cell phone.
It occurs to me later that a sane person would have dropped the phone and used her hand to brace the fall.
Not me. I’m such a dedicated talker, the first thing I do (I mean before I even get up) is check to see if my brother is still on the line. He’s there, but our call is interrupted when the friendly shopkeepers at Inner Journey rush outside to help me up.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

On Your Side

“For whoever is not against us is for us.” ~Mark 9:40
“For whoever is not against you is for you.” ~Luke 9:50

I’m a slow learner. I need repetition, reminding and sometimes convincing, which is why I find comfort in this apparent repeat. The first line is from Sunday’s gospel, the second from Monday’s.
I could argue that this doesn’t always feel true. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against us and whatever it is we are working toward. So I have a choice: Disagree or take Jesus at his word and quietly, maybe even optimistically say to myself, “Whoever is not against me is for me.”

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's Your Birthday!

Some people by their very existence forever change our place in the world. I was only 2 when Nicole was born, but her birth made me a sister and gave me a sister.
Happy 30th Birthday, Sweet Sister!

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sweet Friend

“I find it shelter to speak to you.”
~Emily Dickinson

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Welcome Weekend

What is waiting for you?

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

In My Sleep

“I had a bad dream last night,” I tell him in the morning. “We were in a crowded place, and you left me watching your stuff. Before I knew it, one man took your backpack, another man took your laptop and a third took your camera. They went in different directions, so I couldn’t run after all of them.”
He interrupts me. “In real life, if someone takes my stuff, don’t run after them. Let me do that.”
“I chased down the one who took your camera,” I say.
Later in the morning, I remember thinking hard about yesterday’s gospel: “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic.”
I rethink my dream. Maybe my subconscious is trying to learn to be unattached.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Pillow Awaits Me

When the day is too long and your muscles too tight and your mind is blank and your vision blurred, let sleep be the cure.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Progress

Him to Me: “Good job! I can almost see the carpet.”

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Old Advice

“Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.”
~William Morris, lived March 24, 1834 to Oct. 3, 1896

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Smaller than Small

We think we have such a wide world view.
But we see everything through the pinprick of our mind.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Divine Appointments

I couldn’t quite articulate the awe I felt over the events of the day. We ate breakfast with friends who live far away, ran into friends who live nearby and unexpectedly spent time with my parents, who we bumped into at a festival.
“It just felt like God was orchestrating the timing of everything, which he is doing all the time. But it’s like we could recognize that’s what was happening and most of the time we don’t,” I rambled as John and I made our way to the car.
My friend said it better when she wrote me tonight about our surprise visit this afternoon, “It felt like a Divine appointment.”
Yes, exactly! And what I’m trying to say is this: What if, whether we see it or not, the whole of our lives is one gigantic Divine appointment. Everything exactly as it should be in every moment of the day.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Funky

Today was too much noise, not enough music.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Just Close Your Eyes

And today I’m wondering about the psychology behind messiness. I mean is this an undiagnosed mental disorder or did small gremlins ransack every room in my house?

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Searching, I Found This:

"He who works with his hands is a workman.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist."
~ St. Francis of Assisi

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

B is for Bees

I don't like bees or wasps or yellow jackets or anything that flies and buzzes in my ear.
Years ago, a bee flew into my car. In a panicked fit, I swatted it with my hand. As the injured creature buzzed on its back in my passenger seat, I drove screaming to my apartment, where I insisted John remove the hitchhiker from my car.
Just a few weeks ago, a wasp flew into my office. As my co-worker tried to kill it, I ducked and covered (literally, on the ground, head tucked, hands protecting my neck).
Despite these and countless other close encounters, I had never been stung until today.
The ambush took place right outside my office building and in full view of the private fitness club, which is flanked with windows on the first floor.
The flying beast buzzed. I screamed, flailed my arms and ran back upstairs as fast as I could. In the process, I was stung on my neck.
To my surprise, after all of these years of fear, it didn't really hurt.
It appears I'm one of those lucky folks who isn’t allergic to bee stings.
If this mild reaction isn't a fluke, I could probably be a bee keeper.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Smells Like …

Yesterday, I tackled my dirty shower with the power of vinegar.
Assessing the situation to be critical, I ignored all recommendations to dilute with water.
The bathroom still smells like soured Kombucha.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Working (Out) 9 to 5

In the same way I wish I was a teacher for the summer vacation, I also wish I was a personal trainer for the wardrobe. I mean, seriously, sweats and tennis shoes make up your professional attire. And as an added bonus, you stay fit on the job.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Short & Sincere

The priest says, “Make God busy.”
He suggests a three-word prayer: “God, help me.”

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Friday, September 11, 2009

The Good in Grief

If sorrow has any purpose, I imagine it is to expand our hearts.
In the strangest way, suffering gives us a chance to love and be loved. I find my way to this thought every time I see a friend pain.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Flowers & Fruit

Three no more, now we are four!
And our love is fragrant and sweet.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Like a Bird

A few nights ago, I dreamt a different version of a dream I’ve had since I was a child.
Instead of being alone, I was traveling with friends.
And instead of falling into the ocean, they started to fly.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oh, Sweet Day!

How I love the day my love was born!

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Monday, September 7, 2009

I.O.U.S.A.

I’m not a number cruncher. I hear figures like $11.8 trillion, and my mind goes blank. Apparently, most of our elected officials have trouble with numbers, too.
All the more reason we should watch this documentary.
I recommend the full-length version, but you can see a 30-minute cut for free on the website.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Like a Child

We spent a few minutes at the beach, and a child we don't know took John by the hand to show him the tidepools. The same kid grabbed my arm for balance on the rocks. His willingness to reach out to us was striking. I wonder whose hand I would hold if I had the same faith in strangers.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Hummingbirds

My friends Liz and Dan have a hummingbird feeder outside their bedroom window.
They watch the tiny birds come and go and drink their fill of sweet nectar.
One of the birds, Dan has noticed, is particularly protective of this resource.
This bird swoops down and scares off the other birds from enjoying a drink.
Dan tries to reason with the poor creature.
"It's not yours. I give it to you freely. There's more than enough. And when it's empty, I'll refill it."
The bird is unconvinced, and I wonder how often we ignore the same reassurance from God.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Twice

In two different shops, in two different towns, these words found their way to me today:
“When I count my blessings, I count you twice.” (Irish blessing)

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Brave In Writing

I don’t write lies. But I self edit.
And sometimes the truth gets lost.
In taking a small, brave step to tell the truth always, this is what I wrote Tuesday:

It was the kind of Tuesday that for no reason makes you feel like crying. You feel the heat in your cheeks and the sting in your eyes but you don’t let tears fall down your face because you are at your desk and what will your co-worker think. You feel quite disenchanted even though you are trying to be positive and commit to joy. But you seriously doubt yourself, and you find it near impossible to believe you will ever be as cool as the artist ladies you admire. In fact, you are pretty sure even your friends think you are loser. And you only know for sure that your husband loves you, but you don’t know why.

Having now typed out those scribbled notes, I see why I self edit – I sound like a crazy person. But I believe everyone has a crazy person that sometimes talks really fast inside her head. And if you happen to be hearing that voice of self doubt, I just want you to know I hear it, too, and you are not alone.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reach

I possess approximately four million tiny pieces of paper scribbled with thoughts and half thoughts.
Sifting through receipts and whatnot, tonight I found this:
“Maybe what feels like a test is meant to be a stretch.”
In which case, I should take a deep breath and lean in.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1

Buy a fresh set of colored pencils or sharpen the ones hidden in that cluttered drawer. There. All ready for a new beginning.

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