Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Control Freak

Letting go is hard for me.

Quotes on my sidebar remind me to keep working on it, that it's worth the struggle.

Sometimes it seems my breath is held more than it's released, held in an attempt to will people, events, nature to do it my way. My way. Because, of course, I know best.

No I don't. I just know how life's events have gone before. Safety in familiarity, I guess. Control a situation and the outcome will be right. Hmm...

But there are other ways. There are ways my infinitesimal buffet of experience knows not.

And I want to know them. I want more, I want different, I want...I want...I want...

...to relax.

To let my breath have its way. Deep. Long. Free.

Yes, free to discover new orders, new responses, and new people in new places. To allow life to come to me in its fullness, good and bad, to teach a willing heart. My heart.

I'll get there.

If I just let go and...breathe.

(Seasons change - and I am flowing with them. It's a start. CSA produce declares - fall is here. Oh yeah.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

I've long looked to Paul Newman as a role model. I mean, come on! Racing cars in his 80's. Giving all the profits from his natural food line to charities - to the tune of hundreds of millions over the years. And he was married to his second wife, Joanne Woodward, for over 50 years.

Asked the secret of his marriage, Newman once said: "I know this is going to sound corny but there's no reason to roam. I have steak at home. Why should I go out for a hamburger?"

That's one way to look at it, a good way, a positive way.


He has passed away, lung cancer got the better of him.

In a statement, his daughters said, "Always and to the end, Dad was incredibly grateful for his good fortune. In his own words: 'It's been a privilege to be here.'"


And it's been a privilege to inhabit this earth with you for a little while, sir.

I'll miss you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Drips and Drops




Rain.

It pattered. It released earth scents. It awakened me this fine Sunday morning.

I lazed in bed, breathed deeply, and grinned. From ear to ear. Long long weeks have I waited.

It's temporary. But it's good.

In honor of rain coziness we made this.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tis the Season


Sunrise enhanced by smoke.

Weeks of dry dry dry weather has left our area a tinder box. Oregon fires rage here and there, filling our skies with smoke that serves as a constant reminder to pray for the forests, the creatures, the people, and their homes.

More photos here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Moments Insisted

Home alone. My family chased entertainment miles from home giving me the gift of solitude for a day. "Thank you!"

Hours into my breather I found myself relaxing deeply, feeling responsibility float away. Watering my little garden from the patio felt like an offering instead of a chore. Time was mine to closely examine under leaves for ripe fruit, to notice delicate flower colors and scents, to feel the warmth of sun-heated concrete under my feet, then its coolness as hose-water ran and spread.

A light, outdoor meal of eggs seasoned with freshly plucked basil and chopped roma tomatoes, still warm from the mid-day vine, was intimately relished. I relaxed, scooted up to a round, tiled table under a bright turquoise umbrella surrounded by the very garden that fed me. Tensions lessened. Though the neighborhood bubbled with human voices chattering, distant lawn-mowers trimming grass, and birds cheeeing from the trees, still I experienced deep peace.

A silhouetted hawk flew confidently overhead, soaring, dipping, teasing. Freedom!

In this state it was easy to forgive. To forgive the dog and the cat for annoying me, the bugs that threatened my flowers, the persistently crabby neighbor lady, and the solicitor who refuses to 'please take my name off the list.'

Then it went deeper. In a moment I found it easy to forgive unfortunate, life-disturbing drama. To forgive all who have wronged me, causing hurt and tears. Lingering aches dissipated as if the sun were reaching down to take them from me, to obliterate them. No longer was I holding onto remembrances of ancient things unrepented. They just didn't matter anymore.

In the expanse I noticed that I had even forgiven myself. My self. Holding onto personal regrets, shames, and disappointments as well as vengeful cravings proved to be a huge, slimy, black parasite eating away at my soul. Now it was gone. The brightness of the sun, the moments of tranquility, the touch of God on a heart kneeling before him untangled and lifted the monster out of my mind, off my shoulders.

The taut umbrella swayed a bit, creaking like a sail, the red-tailed hawk reappeared as if blessing the moment, the scent of purple, pink, and white petunias tickled my nose, and a breeze caressed shade-cooled skin. Thoughts blossomed - "Perhaps forgiveness needs space to come to fruition, space and silence, and cessation from busyness. Perhaps dark, shadowy tentacles of harbored pain thrive in reflection's neglect, hold tighter when allowed freedom to exist unchecked. Perhaps I should remember Jesus' solitude, his moments insisted, not awaited but taken away from soul-thirsty crowds, from apparent opportunity where 'a difference could be made' - he made time for quiet amidst the pressure."

Because it matters.

"We do not really know how to forgive until we know what it is to be forgiven. Therefore we should be glad that we can be forgiven by our brothers. It is our forgiveness of one another that makes the love of Jesus for us manifest in our lives, for in forgiving one another we act towards one another as He has acted towards us." ~~ Thomas Merton

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Thought for Autumn

"Living is not thinking. Thought is formed and guided by objective reality outside us. Living is the constant adjustment of thought to life and life to thought in such a way that we are always growing, always experiencing new things in the old and old things in the new. Thus life is always new." ~~ Thomas Merton


The normally pacific Pacific roared in obscurity as gale force North Winds lifted sand into the air, blowing its needle stabs against soft flesh, the invisible shoving the visible, at times obliterating an entire ocean from view along with seaside dwellings. Like grief overtaking a once jolly heart, like greed steamrolling consideration, like unrestrained sin leading a mortal to certain tragedy, the inspiration of a boundless, sun speckled sea lay hidden from sight by the tyrant wind. Yet the sea remained - to be experienced another day, once the storm...has passed.

Oh heart, stay true.


For photos of shifting sand sculptures click here.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Retreat

Long weekend hide-away.




With two of my favorite people.




Transitioning into a new schedule.

Feels good.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sweet Sunshine

Sweet, juicy, fresh corn! Labor Day was devoted to the preservation of bunches of this favorite garden vegetable.

Photos of the process here.

This week is our last week before school begins and we are savoring every moment. Looking forward to the school year, looking back at a refreshing summer. It's a good in-between we are living these days.