Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Love Writing

"4. View Yourself as a Writer—Just before starting the work each day, remind yourself that you’re a writer. And if you need proof, you just have to notice where you are. You’re sitting at a computer, working on a piece of writing. Who else does that but writers? Remind yourself that you belong to that very special club, then move on and focus on the work."

I borrowed this from a list of encouraging tips that Mike Foley ( sent out at the start of the year.

It made me laugh aloud. Who else, indeed, does THAT but writers?

I have finally gotten to the point where when people ask what I do, I simply say, "I'm a writer." It feels good.

Best of luck in all your writings!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Embracing Beauty

Her legs were long and brown, glowing with sun and health. They rose up from sky-high strap-sandals and disappeared into tiny denim shorts. I caught the expression on my friend’s face and followed her wistful stare to where it rested on the young woman’s legs.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I hate her.” My friend gave a dispirited sigh. “She has perfect legs, and I never will.” And just like that, jealousy and insecurity took seats at our amiable dinner.

I protested and not just from a sense of friendly obligation. In my view, my friend is unbelievably gorgeous. She has eyes that change from grey to green and a luminous, ethereal quality that gives her the air of an enchanted being. She is petite but curvy and when she smiles, she resembles an exquisite work of art, some Renaissance painting or finely carved marble goddess. To top it off, she is French and speaks with a divine, lilting accent. Men adore her.

I was appalled to realize the depth of her dismay. It is true – my friend’s legs are neither as lean nor as long as the gorgeous party girl next to us. But so what? She is who she is, and she is stunning.

I reflected on this today as I left my yoga class. During instruction, I can’t help but notice bodies of all abilities and appearances around me. I have every reason to feel jealous and insecure about my own appearance. I’m an easy 60 pounds overweight, out of shape, out of practice and less flexible and strong than I used to be. I seem to be getting older by the day. Men don’t stare after me on the street – but then they never did, at least not to my knowledge.

Again, so what? I am who I am. During class, I practice acceptance. I practice joy. I notice that every Body in the class has something it does well and something that challenges it. I tease my ego. What if I am the “worst” in the whole room? I ask it. Then what?

But I know I’m not. Because when it comes to bodies – and being— there is no better and no worse. There is only infinite variation. There is only this moment and this physical form. Each of us occupies what we inhabit.

We are not in competition with each other to be the most beautiful. There is no competition. And there can be no most beautiful. My friend does not need to feel that the romantic emptiness in her life is due to the shortness of her legs. When love is meant for her, it will come.

Actually, it is already hers. Because on this world, we are all only physical manifestations of one amazing unified source. At the core of us, we are all one. And our time spent as this particular body is so brief against the span of infinite time as to be almost momentary.

Those gorgeous legs. Celebrate that she has them. Because she is only using them for this time, for the sake of all of us, as I am only using this form, and my friend is only using her smile and her elfin eyes. It all belongs to all of us. And that is certainly no reason to feel insecure.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oh My Soul, You Come and You Go...

The cafe where I often work is on a roll today with the music selections. It's nice to groove and write. My excellent new friend is here with me as well, silently studying from her laptop. What a gift to have a friend who's companionship can include space to work. I am blessed by love.

This song, playing now, is still one of my most beloved:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Butterfly Words

I want to write something happy today, something light and reassuring. For the trouble of stopping by my blog, I want my words to inspire you, to lift you up.

I want you to have the feeling that I so often get when I read my favorite blogs, the feeling that through it all, around it all, within and out the spiraling that is life, everything is okay. Always.

That life is made of warmth and light and that everything outside of that love is shades of illusions we add to make it all interesting.

I wish this blog more accurately reflected me. The real me, the reality of me. Here, in these posts, are mere snapshots of my impressions and my life. But so often the words skim across the surface only.

Choosing one emotion to write about leaves the others unsaid. For every emotion I've ever depicted here, there were always others, resting within me like butterflies pulsing on the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, slowly fanning their orange-black wings and awaiting their own turn to soar.

Life hurts - and it makes me smile. The pain of loss is never far from me. Yet I live most days filled with joy. I'm glad for every bit of my past at the same time that I am often anxious about my future.

Mostly, I just wish us all well, and hope we can find some joy today.
And here are some thoughts from our new Poet Laureate:

One of the Butterflies
by W. S. Merwin

The trouble with pleasure is the timing
it can overtake me without warning
and be gone before I know it is here
it can stand facing me unrecognized
while I am remembering somewhere else
in another age or someone not seen
for years and never to be seen again
in this world and it seems that I cherish
only now a joy I was not aware of
when it was here although it remains
out of reach and will not be caught or named
or called back and if I could make it stay
as I want to it would turn to pain.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On the Day of the Funeral of My Friend's Three Year Old Son

Today I saw a June Bug buzzing in the intersection before me. Stopped at the red light, I had time to observe the awkward heaviness of his flight through my dusty windshield. His black wings fluttered desperately and his shiny green body struggled against the air, like a balloon that has lost too much of its helium to stay afloat. I worried that a passing car would smash against him, carry him away against its relentless steel. After a burst of effort, he folded his wings and collapsed to the asphalt. Was he ill? I wondered. Was he injured?

For seconds that seemed like eternity, he crawled amidst the black gravel of the street. I held my breath and watched. With each moment, I was sure a passing car would crush him before my horrified eyes. Crazy thoughts raced through my mind. I wanted to leap from my car and cup him in my hands, carry him away to a green haven of safety. But that was foolish. He was only a bug; I couldn’t put myself into the intersection without danger to me and other drivers. Still I sat frozen and watching, feeling a connection with that small spark of life that pulsed within his hard-shelled frame. I couldn’t bear to watch his end.

When a few seconds later, he pushed out his wings and lifted off into the air, I let my breath out in a whoosh of relief. He flew away into the distance as my light turned green. And I, I felt that perhaps there was some hope and lightness to be found in life after all.