Thursday, September 21, 2017

Navajo Prayer

Anne Hillerman, writing in her novel, Song of the Lion, shares this Navajoh prayer used in the early morning to greet a new day.

With beauty before me, may I walk
With beauty behind me, may I walk
With beauty below me, may I walk
With beauty above me, may I walk
With beauty all around me, may I walk

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Clouds of Sadness

Like a cloud, it descends upon me
Distorts my vision of self and others
Clarity is no longer possible
All is fuzzy, out of focus
Like a cloud, it will pass
Eventually, when the sun shines again

Friday, September 15, 2017

Rituals and Responsability

 I have been thinking recently about the connection between ritual and responsability. A responsability that can be to the animals, family, ourselves, others, community, etc. I remember that one of my daily rituals in the winter when I was on the farm in Iowa. The beef cattle were in a field a few miles from the main farm. In the cold weather the pond would freeze over during the night and this was where the cattle drank. My responsability/ritual was to drive over there early in the morning and chop a large hole in the ice. Every morning the cattle would see me coming and gather patiently at the edge of the pond. After I succesfully chopped through the ice they seemed to look at me gratefully as they lowered their heads into the water. I rmember fondly how our icy cold breaths would mingle in the winter air. This early morning ritual made getting out of a warm bed meaningful.

There was a time when writing in this blog was a daily ritual for me. It forced me to reflect, respond, and articulate the daily ebbs and flows of my life. I have not regularly practiced this "blogging" ritual since our family experienced a series of challenging and life altering occurrences. It is now time to again practice those rituals/responsabilities that connect me to friends and family. I believe that this is a significant part of the grief process and a neccesary step forward. 

Monday, March 06, 2017

"Keep Moving" by Dick Van Dyke

KEEP MOVING and other tips and truths about aging by Dick Van Dyke

                I loved reading this book. It is part memoir and part “how-to” on the art of aging. Van Dyke’s writing is optimistic, positive, energetic, filled with humor, and sprinkled with wise reflections on getting older. Van Dyke was 89 years old when he started writing the book. He is in good health, sharp of mind, and happily married to a woman over four decades younger than him.

                Here is what he shares in answer to the question, “So what do I think really matters.

                                1} Family and Friends
2} Questions (Always questioning about the meaning of life. Questions like; What can I   do to help? How can you be so sure? Am I using my time productively? Am I ok with myself? If not, why? Is my heart open?
                3) Music
                4) Books
                5) A Sense of Humor

Throughout the book the reader is treated to little examples of the author’s creativity and humor. An example is this limerick titled “A Separate Plot”.

There was a young man from Dallas
Who overdosed on Cialis
His body was laid
To rest in the shade
With a separate plot
For his phallus.

The final chapter of the book is a recent conversation between Van Dyke and his best friend, Carl Reiner, who is three years older than the author. Very funny. Finally, this poem.

The Thing That Lasts
The one thing that persists
From childhood through
Whatever age you are right now
Is the love we feel for one another
And still feel even more today.
Love is the thing that lasts.
You feel it more than the aches and pains.
You remember it when other memories fade.
You crave it when you have no taste
For anything else.
You pick it up when you feel weak.
It’s on your smile in the morning
And in your dreams at night.
It’s what you carry around with you every day.
It’s what you take with you.
It’s what you leave behind.
Love is the thing that lasts.
That makes it all worthwhile.

I wouldn’t trade a minute of it.