Monthly Archives: November 2011

Hands

In the movie, “Beaches”, there is a scene toward the end of the movie when Barbara Hershey’s character is dying. She is in bed, and suddenly panics as she is looking at photos, because she cannot find a picture of her mother’s hands, one that she must see at the end of her life. That scene has always stuck with me, because I am so aware of hands and what they seem to show to me.

I think about what I know of a person, and how their hands come to represent that to me. When I think of my Aunt Ruth’s hands, they are slender, and tough, but beautiful. They have done work in their lives, but are not worn. My hand fits well within hers.

My mother’s hands are larger, mine built much like hers. Her nails are always short, and they are broad and firm. I don’t know the feel of them as much, because to be honest, I haven’t held my mom’s hand much in my adult life that I remember.

Last weekend, when I went to visit my Aunt Ruth, after she had a bad fall, I saw my dad on the way at the airport. We were talking deeply, and we held hands across the table. His hands are strong, and tan, and worn from years of hard work. And, so firm that I felt comfortable and safe with that hold.

I love to grab my daughter’s hand when we are in the car, as a quick reminder that I love her and am with her. Her hands are so round, and soft, and young. So much life to know, to gain, to feel and experience.

My hands are gentle, and last weekend, I used them to wash my Aunt Ruth when she couldn’t do it herself. The experience was so moving, to touch her with my hands and to also have that experience touch my heart, in a moment that felt spiritual it was so deep. The healing nature of hands, filled with love, is what I was aware of in those moments.

I am not sure how hands came to have such importance to me. Maybe because of powerful moments with that being the connection. Maybe just what a person’s hands offer of themselves to the world, in prayer, in work, in human touch. Whatever the reason, I am so aware and appreciative of the persons in my life, and the hands that connect with me in a deep way.

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Friends and Family.

This is me with some of the members of my family, two of my siblings. I feel deeply connected to both of them, and when I think of the word, family, I think of them, among others in my life. I also, through the years, have had many different friends and community connections.

The definitions for both have seemed to be pretty cut and dry in my life; my family were those persons that I was biologically connected to through birth or lineage, and some chosen family members; and friends were those persons that I hadn’t known until we had entered each other’s lives. Seems pretty simple, right?

Well, fast forward to the last year of my life. I have been separated from my partner for a full year now, and we have been living apart for several months. And, I have had a specific vision and hope for what we would evolve into with one another as we went forward, to parent our daughter and to also hold value in one another’s lives. It seemed simple, right?

Not so simple.

Besides the reluctance to put some type of label on it, besides “ex”, I felt compelled to create something new with her that was showing signs of healing and growth for both of us. I have known all along that I do not want her to leave my life. She is important to me and I care about what happens to her.

Something interesting happened for me this week in working to figure this out. It dawned on me, that as I went about, trying to find the right way for us to be in existence with one another, I had overlooked the one constant, besides our daughter, that would be true for both of us.

We will always be family.

I don’t just mean, family for our shared child. I also mean, family as in the importance that each of our individual families still have for the other. Family, in that, we grew up together in many ways, and shared many things with one another. Family, in that, I always want to be there for her in some capacity, and have her be there for me.

So, even though it might go against the grain, and even create a level of misunderstanding for others around us, the best way that I will always be able to describe what we are to one another, is as family. And that is so powerful and meaningful to me.

A ribbon sky.

I was on my way to work one day last week. It is autumn here in Pennsylvania, and from my best recollection, that seems to bring some of the most brilliant sunrises and sunsets of the year. On this particular morning, the sky was exceptionally beautiful, as the sun was rising and the clouds were still spread across the horizon.

The way that the clouds appeared, immediately made me think of ribbons. Long, flowing strands of color that look silky and never ending. They weren’t puffy or storm like, more like an endless tapesty of color.

I was in total awe.

I have thought about that morning many times since then, wanting to write about it, and yet, not taking the time to get here and do so. And, as I walked this morning under a similar sky, I decided that the meaning of it for me was about the awesome power of nature, of Great Spirit, of the life and world that exists around us.

There have been so many times in my life, less frequently today, when I would be so immersed in the tasks of my life, that I wouldn’t notice a brilliant sky, a magical rainstorm or snowflakes falling. I have been consumed by what I thought I had to get done, and then, missed out on the wonder around me that is always there for the sharing.

Today, I am much more present than ever before, to all that exists in the moments of my days. It is not perfection, mind you. I still miss details of the world around me, when I am thinking about what is next on the list. However, it is a muscle that I am continuing to strengthen.

The awesomeness of our world, as it lives and breathes around us, is so full of magic, wonder, and beauty, it is unkind not to notice it and be inspired by it.

Contentment.

A friend of mine from the blogging world asked me this week to write about my thoughts on contentment. And, as with many other topics, I gave the matter much thought.

Defining contentment was not as easy as I thought it would be.

At first, I thought of contentment as a feeling of familiarity, of feeling happy, but not overjoyed. Of having some of what you want and being happy with that without pursuing something deeper or greater. I thought of it as settling for what we have rather than what we may really want.

Then, I thought about it even more deeply today, during one of my deep meditative states in my car (and do you know, a coworker of mine drove past me last week during one of my meditative states, blowing her horn and waving madly, and I never heard or saw her. I didn’t have my radio on, I was just in the zone).
What I decided today was that I had it all wrong in thinking that contentment was some ordinary state that we settle for, when we aren’t willing or able to push ourselves further and deeper.

Contentment to me means:

PEACE: a sense deep within of calm and resolve.
HUMILITY: A deep sense of how mighty this world really is.
GRATITUDE: Deep appreciation for all that we are offered every day.
FULFILLMENT: The dream realized.
TRUST: That we are always being watched out and cared for.

What I realized when I really meditated on this today, is that Contentment is much deeper than just being happy. Contentment means SOUL happiness, a happiness so deep and pure that it doesn’t require fanfare or announcements; it is just felt down to our toes. Contentment is not just the feeling, but the deep UNDERSTANDING that we are here for a mission and purpose, and that we are fulfilling it in all that we do. It is total belief that we are being watched over and that all will be well.

For me,contentment, without realizing it when my friend asked me, is what I am aspiring to. It is the true sense that what I am doing matters, and that I am connected and transparent. It means that my presence here has purpose and meaning and that I am in love with my life and its work.

Contentment is big.