Saturday, July 30, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
I used to believe in the single, quick leap of faith more than the slow building of something with a solid foundation. In fact, in my leaps of faith, I would knock down anything I'd built in a single bound. Many of my moves were like that--I'd lived in far West Texas for four years, loved my work as a baker, had some other odd jobs, some good friends, a life I was building, when, within three weeks of deciding to move, I moved to San Francisco. It wasn't the worst decision of my life, as it turned out I had some severe health problems that were helped by the resources available in San Francisco, but it certainly undermined all I'd built in those four years. Every time I move, I'm curious about the new place, but within a couple years, I'm curious about the old place, the life I could've had.
Right now, I stand at a crossroads. I want to leave the city where I live. I would like to experience living in a foreign country. I've decided I'm not going to have a family, so I now I'm really taking stock of what I want to do. I want to live in beautiful places and experience unusual adventures. I want to perform on the streets of Europe and jump out of airplanes all over the world. I want to kayak on still waters, discovering birds among the reeds. However, I want to do this in a way that is planned, sane, and sustainable. I have the steps in place, it's a matter of taking them.
Today, I realized that I often thought that something was a God-thing, if it came to me unawares. For instance, I've been recently thinking about moving out of my house and someone called saying they were looking for a roommate, even though I'd never told the person I was thinking of moving. Even though the situation raised several red flags, I thought, wow, this must be a God-thing because I'm thinking about moving and so-and-so has a room for rent. My normal way of doing things is, oh, someone's offering me something, maybe I should take it. It could even be that I wasn't thinking about the thing I've been offered, and boom, I twist my thinking, "I never thought about doing that, maybe it's a God-thing."
Yesterday, I decided I was a person who took things slowly. Taking things quickly has not worked out for me in the past. I wasn't thinking about getting involved in a romance, and I certainly wasn't thinking of getting involved with the future X-man, and I used the not thinking about those things as evidence to make the argument, "Oh, it's not me, it must be God." God gets blamed for a whole lot of damage in my life.
I need to make careful choices based on my values and my integrity and the way I want to feel while I'm in the action of those choices. It's okay to want to feel a certain way.
Though I have desperately romanticized the leap of faith concept, I am now cherishing, the tilling and turning the soil concept. I'm researching, adding fertilizer, and planting what I will work for me--whether it's flowers or tomatoes, a parachute fund or a new luxury item--I will turn and consider and wait. And wait. And wait.
"The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."
"It is strange that the years teach us patience; that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting."
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
“The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings." --J.M. Barrie
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Michel de Montaigne
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
"Curiosity endows the people who have it with a generosity in argument and a serenity in their own mode of life which springs from their cheerful willingness to let life take the form it will." --Alistair Cooke
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Having recently been lied to, I’ve been working back over my history, to clean out any lies. Tonight, I went and told someone I’d lied to him and what the truth was.
If someone is in love with me, but I lie to that person about who I am, allow him to think something about me because I don’t fill in the blanks, he’s in love with a lie or a half-truth (one of the more devious forms of lies).
So, I told an ex-boyfriend tonight something I’d kept from him, so he’d know who he was with when he was with me.
There are some who say—even fine books that advise—not to tell, for instance, an unsuspecting spouse about affairs. I’ve always felt that sometimes my urge to tell the truth is to relieve myself of guilt rather than to do the right thing, so I really have to check my motives when I am honest. Am I purging because I want to be relieved of my guilt? Before I tell the truth, I need to think about my motives behind the confession for a little while.
There have been times in my life where I just open my mouths without thinking—I feel out the truth by saying whatever's in my mind out loud. But is what I am saying out loud a lasting truth, a real honest thing, one that will honor a relationship? If I tell someone, for example, “I never loved you,” is that something that could be backed up in a court of law? or is it me having a spell of doubt about my feelings for my partner, and wondering if I became involved on false pretenses. If I weather the storm, will it, like most of my thoughts, pass as a passing fancy?
If, when I told my partner I was grocery shopping, I was at the coffee shop enjoy the flirtations of a man who’d invited me to have coffee with him, and my partner continues to love me for who I am, does he even know who I am? Am I giving him a fair shake at living in reality?
I’m not going to live in secret any more from those who I've agreed a certain level of intimacy. And I’m going to do my best not to be a secret in someone else’s relationship, help fuel a bed of lies that acts like an intimate relationship.
Sometimes, when a child opens his or her mouth, he might say things that seem almost unkind. As adults, we hopefully have more facility with language and can maneuver the way we formulate our sentences, so that the truth can be a gift, not a dagger. If I tell you what I did that you didn’t know about me before, it is because I want to give you a chance to live in reality just a little more today, or to give you back your intuition. (What partner doesn’t, in some way, have a sense of when his or her loved one is being untrue?)
Living in fantasy or delusion is exhausting. The truth sets everyone free.
Friday, July 15, 2011
This used to sound stupid to me, but I’m a child of God.
I’m feeling lousy about myself today—I don’t know why. I feel lower than low.
Today, I’m desperate to feel that childlike spirit I felt continually so recently.
Today, I feel stunned into a late adulthood, one in which people aren’t trustworthy. The worst thing is, I’ve woken up to the fact that many of the people in my life were never trustworthy. However, I’m unwilling to let the trusting child within me die. I’m grabbing onto the small light of the little Dawn that will not dim, no matter what happens to me, no matter what storms I weather, walk into. The winds have blown heartily, and yet, there’s a piece of me that will always shine.
Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. –Matthew 18
Today, I sat by a small quick creek peopled with small children and a couple with fishing poles in their hands. I walked down to a place on the bank where all the people were out of sight and I watched the water run over stones, and I watched the trees. I just looked at the trees and noticed the pieces of creek I could see through the branches. I picked up a giant pine cone and I wondered where it came from. On the path to the creek, there were many very small pine cones, miniature ones, and I remembered when I was young—maybe ten years old—and I’d stand in the center of these three deodar cedar trees that somehow landed in our front lawn in Southern California, and I made up songs on the spot and I sang them—and they were lousy, trite and repetitive. But they made me happy, and I was singing for no one, I was singing for God. And I watched the rose-shaped cones from the cedar tree fall from the tree and I collected them. And I did this later when I was a grown up and lived in far West Texas, in a small town called Marfa. I collected rose pine cones and I lined my windowsills with them and I filled vases with them. And I displayed them in a kind of grand thanks—and this is how I enter heaven.
Today, I write these words, and I write myself out of this temporary hell, and I write myself into the light, and I write myself into heaven.