Monday, August 25, 2014

sigh

School is back in full swing. 
This year there are no graduate classes to juggle amidst my teaching schedule, which should of course fill me with an exponential sigh of relief.  And perhaps somewhere I am sighing with peaceful abandon but I must confess the relief is overshadowed by a longing for my academic community and the rigor associated with it.  I find myself somewhat daunted by the task of recalibrating my mind to pre-grad school levels of activity.  
Perhaps I need to practice sighing…I could surely take lessons from my two boys…
SIGH……………..SIGH……………..SIGH.
Now off to shower and bed.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bloom

Back in Colorado, surrounded by my familiar foliage and life, I find myself remembering the tropical flowers.  I find myself wondering at the flower of self…the unique expression of life that expresses as you and I.  I find myself wondering what pleasure I might find in the texture, color, petals and expression of my own life if I simply step aside and smell the flowers.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mahalepu

This is my beach.  Not because I own it (as if owning any corner of life actually makes any sense, regardless how many wars are fought or money spent), but because my soul purrs when I arrive on its shores and my heart beats wildly in the face of so much beauty.  Each time I stare out at a wide blue horizon from this particular sandy perch, my heavy satchel of worries, need to's and oughtn'ts is suddenly empty and I am left with a deep and unexplainable exhale….. HOME.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Seizure: what this body keeps teaching me in a thousand big a little ways

On Monday morning I had a seizure.  

In life I have seldom settled into the inherent vulnerability of being human, nor acknowledged, with any kind of grace, the burning desire to be cared for and nurtured by “other”.  I have diligently cultivated self-sufficiency, independence, competence and strength.  I have given to others with abandon but found receiving difficult and receiving nurturance nigh impossible.  

That approach to life no longer feeds me.  

It is as necessary to accept care and to receive it, as it is to pour it forth in giving. Crying in my Godfather’s arms after the shock wore off, attended by a warm tropical breeze and the songs of Hawaiian birds and water, in a home so beautiful that it belongs on the cover of Dwell magazine, I felt safe and cared for. Not just by a beloved human other but by the whole of life.  And all of Life seemed to be whispering softly and caringly within the grace of its own mystery, “I’ve got you.  You are okay.”

In its own unique way the body with its heart procedures, head injury, seizure and quirks offers an opportunity to embrace human vulnerability and the long silenced desire to be cared for and to RECEIVE.  All of this on an island in the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by unspeakable beauty, cradled by aloha and an unparalleled sense of “It is okay.  It is all okay”. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

nature's invitation

Nature is sanctuary... home... life. When I am surrounded by the natural world it is easier to discard my sense of pompous separation and acknowledge my interconnection with life's many disguises.
When in nature it's ridiculous to assume a Pollyanna approach to its brilliance, waxing on about its kindness.  I know that I don't understand it. I know that I must remain open and alert to the possibilities arising in each moment.
Nature demands respect and careful observation.
Nature demands that we come to our senses.
Literally.
And practice once more our neglected sense of:

  • smell as the scent of pine, wildflower, rain, moose, earth and wind speaks its olfactory dialog with our nose.  
  • taste as our tongue receives the fresh tangy air of a pine forest.  
  • hearing as we silence our cellphones and internal chatter long enough to listen and hear the rustle of wind in trees and the various sound each plant and tree and flower makes as it moves in conversation with the breeze.   
  • touch as we feel the caress of life meeting life in and as tree, flower, bird, moose, you, me. 
With senses open, nature becomes a lover inviting our bodies toward the vulnerability and pleasure of this particular NOW.
It is a miraculous invitation held out to us in every single now since the dawn of creation.  And when we accept it, even for a moment, what wonders we behold.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

turning toward the sun

As many of you know I have had a very full year…heart surgery, brain trauma, grad school, motherhood, teaching.
A full year.
This week I complete my master's degree in Educational Psychology.  Last week, while walking alone near the foothills of Boulder, I experienced the first major arrhythmia since surgery.  Its after effects of dizziness and near fainting lasted for several days.  In typical Angelina fashion, I pressed on, ignoring the simple invitation to feel.
On Friday morning as I forced myself up the steep incline of a beloved and often traveled trail, my dear body would go no further.  Half way up I lay down on the gravel path, staring at cloud blue dappled sky, surrounded by birdsong, warmed by sunshine and the clear sound of wind in tall grass.  I lay for several minutes drawing in the energy needed to make the descent.  I noticed hundreds of sunflowers, all of their golden faces turned in welcome toward the sun- drawing in energy, drawing in life.  And for a perfect, tender moment, my face turned in welcome toward the luminous warmth of day and like the flowers all around, it was enough.  It was enough to feel and feeling was enough.  It was enough to be finished.  To be.
When we think of the people in our lives whom we admire, who inspire us, it is good to find ourselves on that list.  Today I am proud of Angelina, face turned in welcome toward the light of a new day.