I am an open book, a page turner, a work in progress; not sure I have ever been a hard cover edition, more likely a paperback novel, with dog-eared pages that have notes in the margins and bent over pages to evoke memory. I was born that way, it seems and addicted to books, I have been ever since. They were my constant companions that I toted around, like other kids may drag teddy bears behind them; although I had plenty of stuffed animals to keep me company too.
I always welcome The Muse in whatever form she chooses to appear. Yesterday, on a car trip back from the Jersey shore, I was looking back onto my timeline and regaling my friend Ondreah with stories from my childhood. I asked her if she had memories about events from her youth. “Yes, but not like you do.” I can rattle off experiences as if they happened yesterday (even though there are times when I can’t recall why I entered a room and need to go back to the place where the original thought occurred.) and sometimes do it with lightning speed that have my friends shaking their heads in amusement at my ADHD sensibilities during which I go off on tangents. Glad I can provide comic relief for them.
The Muse appears in the same way; sometimes not even knocking, but rather, barging on in and posing in front of me, hands on hips, asking impudently “Well, are you just going to leave me standing here, or do I need to muscle my way through until you pay attention? ” and all I can do is take dictation. Never in a million years would I turn her down. What she has to offer is too precious to deny her. She has never steered me wrong and in fact, has offered inspiration that was directly channeled from the Beyond.
I have come to accept that there are times when I need to jot ideas down like so many dreams images that may dissolve, if I want to be able to write about them later on. Notebook and purple pen at the ready! Gone are the days when I can wave them away, saying “Nah, I’ll remember them,” since often I don’t. I had heard a story about gravely voiced singer-songwriter Tom Waits who had been driving on the L.A. Freeway when The Muse came ‘a calling and he emphatically stated that he didn’t have pen and paper to write down the inspired ideas, so she needed either to go away and come back when he did have writing utensils or visit someone else. Not sure which song he wrote as a result. Maybe it was this one…since it is one of my favorites.
http://youtu.be/ZSe2k3P8wRE I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You-Tom Waits
Did you know that today is National S’mores Day? It came as a delightful surprise to me as I was perusing August holidays on line. A childhood treat that brings back memories of campfires and sing a longs and more recently calls to mind my beloved mother who passed 11/26/10. In the 6 months that she was on hospice, we would have fun and poignant conversations. This was one of them that is excerpted from my book The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming The Ordinary Into The Extraordinary.
Often we would take imaginary trips together—sometimes going ice skating on a pond, bundled in warm clothing, sipping hot chocolate afterward. Other times we would go to a park and play on the swings, our feet feeling like they were touching the sky, or ride on beautifully painted white alabaster horses on a carousel. Her favorite place to ‘visit’ was Hawaii, since although she and my father traveled extensively in their later years, they had never visited the 50th state.
“So Mom,” I inquired, “Where are we going today?” With little girl excitement, she responded, “Oh, we’re going to Hawaii, to a luau. But no roast pig.” “Ok. A kosher luau, then. And what will we do there?” “We’ll dance the hula and get lei-d.” I grinned, knowing that she meant having leis draped over our heads. “So, two wild women out on the town, getting lei-d. I like that idea.” She joined me in raucous laughter. And then I asked what we would be eating at the festive occasion.
For the uninitiated, s’mores are a yummy and decadent combo of graham crackers, melted marshmallows, and chocolate bars. My mother and I share a love of most things sweet—chocolate being a lifelong drug of choice. “Mom, I don’t think they serve s’mores at luaus. I would bet that they serve s’mores in Heaven.” “I hope so,” was her delighted answer.
I will have to wait until she tells me if that is the case.
So far, I haven’t received confirmation, so I guess I will just have to create my own sticky sweet heaven on earth~
http://youtu.be/XAhv0XGv8Pc Better Than Ice Cream -Sarah McLachlan (not exactly about s’mores, but does mention chocolate:)
Had the inclination to post this on my Facebook page about an hour ago.
“Noticing since I had the heart cracking open experience last week, that I have been feeling an existential loneliness that I haven’t had for a long time. I feel loved, appreciated, supported by the Universe and the people in my life and yet, there is a wistfulness, a longing. Ever feel that way?”
Immediately friends (some from my face to face world and some cyber-but-still-heart-connected) chimed in with their responses. Most have indeed felt that way from time to time and for some, it is a consistent way of being. They encouraged me to be present with it, and allowing myself to surrender to the state I was in. How does one sustain that feeling when I am finding it challenging to sit with it for even a brief moment since it began? I have heard it called ‘being homesick for God’. The weird thing is that I know on a conscious, cognitive level that I am indeed never away from the Divine, never apart from it, always a part OF it. I have no doubt that the God of my understanding understands me in return. I have spent decades immersed in spiritual practice; from prayer to drumming, from meditation to yoga, from dance to tantra, from writing to chanting, from reading to creating healing rituals for myself and others. Maybe it was in preparation for this…whatever this is.
Most of my professional life is spent encouraging and guiding people in coming out of the closet in which they have hidden their true selves. Although hanging out in a closet might feel safe and secure for a short time, ultimately it can get cluttered and stifling. Better still to take a stand for my freedom and not just beckon others to come out from their own self imposed confinement. I know we teach what we need to learn, so this is my growing edge.
Several had said that my being human and vulnerable invites others to share and I imagine that I am also safer than I would have been had I continued on the same path on which I had been treading. When I am genuine, people know and it brings them in closer. Some have declared, with a sense of relief “Welcome to the human experience!” My friend Ondreah who has just returned from a two week retreat in Arizona for the I AM heart -Institute For Applied Meditation on the Heart, created by Susanna and Puran Bair is positively gleeful that I am swimming in a pool of tears. Loving friends all.
There are times when it feels like paddling about in a cavern, much like I experienced in Mexico many years ago, that had echoing limestone walls. There were times when I was fearful (even though I had been a lifeguard for years and a competitive swimmer since I was 11) of diving down into the warm water, uncertain what might be lying beneath the surface. At other moments, I playfully splashed about. What I learned is that I can do both. Wanting to remember that now. It will never only be deep or shallow emotionally.
Although I love the poetry of Rumi, I had not seen this one and it was planted on my page by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (she who wrote the classic The Invitation) in response to my posting.
One night a man was crying,
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said,
“So! I have heard you
calling out, but have you ever
gotten any response?”
The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.
“Why did you stop praising?”
“Because I’ve never heard anything back.”
you express is the return message.”
The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.
Give your life
to be one of them.”
My response was that the dogs are definitely howling~ ahhhhwooooooo~
www.jennygperry.com artwork and words by Jenny G. Perry
I imagine you have heard the statement: “We make plans and God laughs.” I have not only heard it, but lived it. This morning, I was having breakfast with two new friends with whom I connected following a Women’s Business Forum Speed Networking event. Think speed dating on steroids as at least 50 (mostly women and a few men) professionals from Bucks County, PA gathered to interact and offer mutual support for each other’s businesses. Good thing I can use my super-hearing to filter extraneous noise. Among them were bankers, event planners, musicians, the owner of a classy adult store and someone who plans ‘fun funerals’ which may seem like an oxymoron, but really is a trend that allows people to celebrate loved ones and not just mourn their passing.
LisaBeth Weber (the musician) Kyle Tevlin (the fun funeral woman) and I sat at a table at Nonno’s which is an Italian bakery and coffee shop in our small town burb of Doylestown, PA. Enjoyed soy chai and a decadent chocolate brownie (not so guilty pleasure since I knew I would be going to the gym a little later for my regular ‘playout’) as I got to know more about them. Laughed riotously as LisaBeth shared about the love between her grandparents who had been married 70 some years, said in her grandfather’s Yiddish accent. I could relate since I am the granddaughter of Russian immigrants as well. I could hear my Bubbe’s voice echoing in my ears as LisaBeth spoke. Got to hear more about Kyle’s I Want A Fun Funeral: Putting A Little Life Into Your Last Wishes concept and thought about how it could revolutionize the way people view death. As a minister who officiates at personalized and not cookie cutter funerals and a bereavement counselor who helps people pick up the pieces, it makes so much sense to me. I related to them about my marital history and the things that I am now doing in my life since I had been widowed at 40. Had it not been for my husband’s passing, a series of events that wound itself to this moment, would not have unfolded.
In the shower tonight, I took it a step further as I recalled the jobs and relationships I had wanted that hadn’t panned out as I originally wished. Had my desires come to pass, I would have missed other relationships that were perhaps even more fulfilling or without which my life wouldn’t be as rich. At those times, I wasn’t always able to consider that question about things working out for the best. Yes, I am an optimist; or rather, an ‘opti-mystic’ who views the world through the eyes of possibility and still there are times when I need to be reminded that all is in Divine Order.