Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I'm sitting on the wall between the garage and the dog's yard, next to the area that will become my flower garden when I become a woman who gardens. I'm out here eating my breakfast and drinking my chai in the blue pottery mug because:
I've been thinking about how I have rarely ever, in my whole life, been content where I am. I have spent almost my entire life wishing it away by anticipating the next phase.
by Chen Baiyi
I am going to try to slow my desires down, to live in and savor each moment and appreciate it for what it is: A divine gift.
Today, we're going to a park for a luau potluck to celebrate the 16th birthday of a friend of ours. Most of our old homeschooling friends will be there. Somehow I'd like to find a way to communicate to each of them that they are special to me. I'm probably getting a little "over the top" with this, but I'm thinking that if I were to feel intense sorry at some one's death, that suggests I care for them deeply in life and maybe should find a way to communicate my feelings. Today, I will try to be with whoever I am with; to truly focus on what she is saying-to hear and feel her words.
One moment at a time.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
"Blood and Oil"
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
I'm the kid who ran away with the circus.
Now I'm watering elephants.
But I sometimes lie awake in the sawdust
dreaming I'm in a suit of light.
Late at night in the empty big top,
I'm all alone on the high wire.
‘Look, he's working without a net this time.
He's a real death-defier.’
I'm the kid who always looked out the window,
failing tests in geography.
But I've seen things
far beyond just the school yard —
distant shores of exotic lands.
There the spires of the Turkish empire.
It's six months since we made landfall.
Riding low with the spice of India
through Gibraltar, we're rich men all.
I'm the kid who
thought we'd someday be lovers,
always held out that time would tell.
But time was talking.
I guess I just wasn't listening.
No surprise, if you know me well.
And as we're walking toward the train station,
there's a whispering rainfall.
Across the boulevard,
you slip your hand in mine.
In the distance: the train call.
I'm the kid who has this habit of dreaming.
Sometimes gets me in trouble, too.
But the truth is,
I could no more stop dreaming
than I could make them all come true."
These are lyrics to a song by Buddy Mondlock. He's a Nashville based signer-songwriter whom I've enjoyed for 20 years.
(He has a song, can't remember the title but the chorus says "She would kick up her heels on Michigan Avenue, and she would dance all night" which reminds me of my mother's mother. I saw him perform at Bluebird Cafe a few months after she died and cried, sitting at at table in the front, for the whole song. Just thinking about it and her is making me cry. My grandma was a fabulous woman.)
I've always been a dreamer. I've always had a place of escape in my head. Usually, it's some business scheme, like a coffee shop or craft studio, or about living in some other place, like an off-the-grid utopia, or France. Rarely, when I have a moment and especially when I'm stressed, have I not drifted off into my reveries.
Lately, because I've been trying to be aware of being "in the moment" I've been trying to notice when my thoughts drift, but truly, what a herculean task! This chihuahua mind of mind is seeming more like a monkey with a lion on the prowl, of late. It seems like when I try to still my mind it goes into emergency thinking mode in which it has to think as many thoughts in as possible. Whew! I try to center down and pray and almost immediately my mind begins to wander. After a few minutes of random chains of grocery lists, work plans, daydreams, memories and idle drifting, I notice, pull my thoughts back, apologise to God for having a short attention span and begin the process again. After 3 or 4 times of doing this I'll find that 15 or 20 minutes have passed and all I've accomplished is to feel frustration. If the road to hell is paved with good intention, I am there.
I guess the beauty of this whole thing, the grace, is that there's no test. I get to start over how ever many times as I need. The only one judging me is me. God is just waiting patiently for me to get where I need to be, leaving signs of encouragement and love along my path.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Praise Ye the Lord,
Praise Ye the Lord,
PRAISE YE THE LORD!
I found this image from a Google search. Here's what the caption said about it:
"Wall-painting illustrating David's psalm 'Praise ye the Lord with stringed instruments and flutes', in which women with timbrels are depicted dancing and musicians playing popular instruments, 18th century, Great Lavra Monastery, Mount Athos."
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Living in God is so hard for me. The problem is to let go of all these years and layers of habit and learned response to know and feel what is really real. I know God is the foundation under all my life but often it is so difficult to be aware in the minutia of day-to-day life. Can I see God when my children are bickering or when I'm stopping to get gas or cleaning up messes? Yes, but remembering to do so is the thing. I do think I'm speaking less from my ego, of late, but it's baby steps. There's certainly no step-by-step guide to enlightenment with a checklist I can tick off as I go. It's more a matter of me becoming aware of God infusing all of my life-all life. I ask God to help me be open to awareness, today. I want my life to be a reflection of God's love and compassion.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Yesterday was my first day "in the field" for this project. I spent 5.5 hours driving around a town I'm unfamiliar with. Because it was daytime and the neighborhoods were mostly made up of young people (as opposed to neighborhoods full of retired folks), I only encountered a couple of people at home. When I left my house, I stopped by the library and picked up a few books on tape. I began listening to a book co-written with the Dalai Lama which helped me with perspective. I actually remained pretty centered. I did not allow myself to grip anxiety as I pulled up in front of my case households. Only once did I feel tension as I stood on a porch waiting for the door to be answered and as I felt it, I let it go.
Monday, May 7, 2007
I'm spending the day at home, organizing my supplies and waiting for my laptop to arrive via FedEx.
Training went well, or at least not any better or any worse than usual. I'll be working with a new (to me) manager. She seems tough, although competent. I get the impression that she does not have children and will have no sympathy for childish interruptions during our weekly reporting calls or needing to reschedule for DR appointments. We'll see.
I already have enough of a work load to make me feel overwhelmed. I don't have my full case-load and I currently have 66 cases in 3 counties. I have at least twice as many cases as anyone else I talked to (I'm guessing they couldn't get another FI to work this project so gave me everything). I have no idea how I'll be able to juggle that amount of work with a lack of transportation until 6:00 each weekday evening.
When I think of making contact with my cases, parking my car and walking up to a front door, I begin to feel a great deal of tension. I could easily get overwhelmingly stressed. I keep needing to stop and remind myself that none of this really matters; like I have to hit the emotional/spiritual "reset" button.
The thing is that I really do believe that the purpose of my job is beneficial to society, if I didn't, there's no way I could do it. Each survey I've worked has been important, but I think this one may be the most important. The agency of the Federal Government that oversees economic policy relies on the data from this survey to create the policies that impact all of us, so it's really important to get honest, accurate information about real Americans. I'm good at my job. I conduct each interview professionally and impartially. I try to help each respondent understand just why it is so important to have his or her opinions and experiences represented. But it's still incredibly stressful to approach a stranger's door and have no idea what will happen if and when the door is answered -kind of like that scene in the "Yellow Submarine" in which two of the Beatles are trying to find the others and Fred and keep opening doors to be greeted by tigers and clowns and what-have-yous.
I'm finishing this post up the next day-Tuesday. I spent hours yesterday organizing my supplies and trying to set my laptop up to transmit (which it still would not do as of 10:00 last night. I'll be calling tech support in a few minutes again. Because the confidentiality on this survey is so important (I'm legally bound by 3 federal laws) we have increased security on our laptops and I now have so many passwords that I can't remember them all. When I go to log in to this blog I can't remember the password I've been using for months.
I'm trying to not let the stress of this moment eclipse my awareness of God within. I'm trying to remain aware of Spirit flowing through me; trying to allow myself to be a channel for Spirit so God through me can speak to God in those I encounter-on the job and off. I am trying to let my life be a prayer so that I reflect God in my actions and speech. But it is so hard to know the impermanence of each moment when I'm feeling such discomfort. Reset. God. Tension. Reset (breathe). God.