The Bliss Blog

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhart

A few days have passed since my home was filled with many kindred spirts and soul friends. Some are talented musicians and their sonic sweetness is still reverberating throughout the structure as I am soaking in it. The occasion was my 58 and Life is Great birthday party. Each year, I bring folks together from the overlapping soul circles in my life. Some have been coming for years, while others are newbies. What they have in common is a zest for life and creative ways to express it. I have known some for  20 years and others far more briefly. One (my cousin) has known me all her life.

No matter, each is a gift in my life. In their presence, I feel as if I am home. I really enjoy watching my friends interact and leave feeling like those around them are ‘family of choice’. There are moments when I sit back and observe the animated conversations that occur about a variety of subjects that fall into the ‘life, the Universe and everything’ categories. Before the party began in earnest, I asked two friends who are much taller than I, to help me hang up a long sheet of paper and next to it, I placed colorful markers. I invited the guests to write what it is for which they felt gratitude. Their words invoked imagery of family, friends  home, health, music, dance, God, their life, hugs, animals, nature and miracles.

My birthday itself was October 13th and was ushered in by numerous Facebook greetings that eventually numbered over 500.  I did my best to thank everyone whose love spilled over me. That night, my son and his fiancee’ took me to dinner at a fancy restaurant, with the advice, to “Dress nice, Mom.”  I took that to mean, “No hippie clothes.” When I arrived, garbed in a black dress and low heeled pumps, I noted that they were dressed more casually than I. His response?  “I meant, just no shorts.”  As if I would wear shorts to a more formal restaurant.  Sighs and eyerolls here.

The next night, I swooped by the airport to pick up my friend Pamela Jane Gerrand, who flew down from her home in Ontario, Canada. A celestially infused singer songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and sound healer, she made the journey southward to participate in an event which I will share about shortly. We headed over to a local concert venue called World Cafe Live to hear the over the top awesome soundings of a young musician named Greg Sover. If you closed your eyes, you would find yourself transported to the 1960’s and think you were listening to the iconic sounds of Jimi Hendrix.

The next day, Pamela and I joined a few friends near the famous LOVE sculpture near City Hall in Philadelphia (the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection) for Hugs Across America. Co-created with my cross country friends, Kim Skipper Corbin and Tex Allen, it was a day designed to bring people together across the political, social, religious, economic, gender and cultural divide. When I hug people, I don’t know who they are voting for, unless they tell me, what faith tradition they practice, where they come from or who and how they love. I just hug them. I remember a wise young child who asked me a few years ago if I knew how to turn a ‘bad guy into a good guy.’ When I asked him for the answer, he responded enthusiastically, “You hug ’em!” Truth wrapped up in an adorable little package. By the end of the day, we were tired and wired. Our friend Jennifer Stein, who is an divinely driven film maker graciously documented the day.

On this day, I am immersed in gratitudes and beatitudes.

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