I wanted a guide
I wanted a map
Rest here, turn there
I wanted to map it out
Plan it out
Figure the whole damn thing out
See the sights along the way
Leave a mark
So I could look back
To see where I went
To see what I did
Bumpy, dirty, scary, lonely
I took myself
I lead myself
I got lost
I was found
I love to write. At times it is an out-of-body experience that I am driven to do, unable to rest until I do. Sometimes the light switch within me is on, and I can see my way. I am able to do the things I wanted to do with my words. Capture the feelings I hoped to share. That light is on as I type these words…
I am “enlightened” .
The Dictionary defines enlighten as: to give intellectual or spiritual light
With most everything in life there is an opposite force; good and bad, happy or sad, up or down, and yes… light and dark. Eventually I find myself in the dark…the switch is turned off. I find myself fumbling around looking for direction, afraid of where I might be…lost. I hate it when the light is off. There is a constant battle with this light and conservation is necessary. No person can walk in the light at all times. It would drain them. Just as a lightbulb eventually burns out.
Even the glow of the sun must leave us at the end of a day.
Curse the sun
As it gently fades each day
For each passing
Takes you further away
I never wanted you to go
Wasted days I long to repeat
I never meant to hurt you
How I miss your voice so sweet
Return to me
It is said that, “That which is done in the darkness, will be brought into the light” reminding me that even though I am in the dark at times…those moments will return to me. I will draw upon them.
I will be “enlightened”.
I go to the movies to escape my mundane, and occasionally stressful, life. It’s a mental vacation. For those two hours I don’t have to think about my job, my bills, my kids. I get in early, find my spot, kick my feet up, grab my cell phone to play “Words with Friends”, and I let out a sigh…
Ahhhhhhh….(this is nice).
Wait a minute…
Is that a couple with a baby car seat walking in?
Ok, if I were actually on my vacation; my drink with the tiny umbrella would have given me food poisoning, my sun-kissed skin would have just had raindrops land upon it, my bed that my lazy head rests upon would have a bedbugs on it. In essence: my vacation would be ruined.
Because if there is one thing you can count on…babies will unexpectedly cry. Nobody can predict a babies behavior.
I know this. I’ve been the mom on the plane with her toddler that wouldn’t stay in her seat during take off because she unexpectedly wanted to sit someplace else, and began to scream and cry and unbuckle her seatbelt and bolt into the aisle.
I’ve also been the person who missed parts of a movie because another moviegoer brought their baby in the theater…and it decided to cry (repeatedly).
Which is why I took my babies to the drive ins…I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s mental vacation. Not in today’s times – that may very well be the only vacation someone gets in today’s recession!
Do us all a favor… leave the kids at home.
I hate shoes.
It’s fall…these bare little piggies won’t be touching grass for many, many months…
I miss being barefoot already.
When I was a teenager, I lived on the island of Kauai.
Shoes were optional.
My bare feet took me everywhere;
from my car’s rubber gas pedal, to the beach’s tiny grains of sand.
I guess this is why I love to teach yoga:
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
~Henry David Thoreau
If Mr. Thoreau is correct, then I must find more ways to GO BAREFOOT!
(doesn’t everyone want to know what heaven feels like?)
I’m not sure why, but recently I have more than a few people in my life with a parent that is dying, or has died. It’s heartbreaking. It also makes me think of my dad and his battle with cancer and I get that feeling in my tummy, that tug on my heart and that urge to shut my emotions off. I am reminded of how I feel about cancer, and how I hate to be reminded of cancer.
I wrote this in the spring of 2012:
I don’t want to think about my dad’s cancer anymore. I’ve almost forgotten who he was before its arrival. Cancer has become a part of him now, and I hate that. I hate seeing people’s expression when, inevitably, I have to say that he has advanced colon cancer… that it spread to his liver…that it spread to his lungs (twice). When I see people’s reactions, I am reminded of the seriousness of my dad’s illness, the magnitude of his battle, and the frailty of his body. It instantly replaces any happy thoughts I have of us, and I am suddenly forced to think of something I try every day to forget, and it is difficult to bring those happy thoughts back.
God how I hate that.
After their questions, sympathy always rests thick between us, neither of us knowing what to say. My heart wants me to scream, “Don’t look at me like that! He isn’t dead!” Instead I smile, I nod, I assure them I’m ok. For a moment I am thankful, because I lied and they believed me, and hopefully the conversation can end. I don’t want them to see through me, and discover that I am not ok. I should be stronger- my dad fights a battle much worse than my own.
God how I feel so selfish.
Sadly, no matter how incredibly strong and invincible my dad seems to be, their expressions remind me of his situation. It’s not their fault. They are just doing the very thing a person should do, which is care.
But still, it hurts…
So I learn to disconnect. When I can no longer keep up my facade, and I breakdown, I am somehow filled with strength. I can detach from all of it, easily. I can talk freely about his situation. I may seem void of emotion, but this is how I survive. This is how I make it from one breath to the next. Until I have to prepare for another scan, and I find myself unravelling. Until the corrosion of cancer resurfaces, bringing such a heavy weight upon me, and I find myself unable to be remain strong and disconnected. Then, I become -quite literally- a wreck and I am left to explain why.
Their questions always return. And unfortunately, I must confess that I also find myself more angry at them for their reminders, than I am at the cancer itself. These people have a physical element I can tack an emotion onto. They are reactive, they feel and can interact with me. But cancer… cancer is void of any awareness of human emotion. It only wants to “exist” and will stop at nothing to do just that. Emotion is what it is capable of generating, but not what it is capable of having. What good does it do me to be mad at cancer? Right? It will never respond. But a person (!)…a person will respond. Which is why I get angry at them.
How I hope that they will one day forgive me.
How do I explain to these people not to look at me with such sympathy…that cancer gave me a gift; a deeper connection to my dad, a greater understanding of love, passion, time, relationships and what is truly important? Cancer illuminated the importance of each moment of life. Cancer has hurt me like nothing else, but cancer has also created something that nothing, or nobody could take from me…a greater understanding and appreciation of love and life. The irony is sometimes too much to accept, because in a disturbing and seemingly impossible twist-I love and hate cancer all at once.
A bit heavy, yes. That’s just where my heart is right now- for the people I know who are feeling far more than I ever have. I will add to this by saying that currently my dad is cancer free. I can’t explain what that means, or how that feels, to me (or to him). But what I can say is that life is something you just cannot predict. No matter how hard you want to. Never take life for granted.
This shot was taken with my iPhone and edited with instagram. It captured the moment beautifully. The power of light over darkness.