Thursday, April 25, 2013

Here I Am

A friend just asked me "how is your writing going?" and added that she missed me on the blogs. Indeed, I have taken a large hiatus and just yesterday I was thinking, there is nothing in me that wants to go back to blogging.  But I realize this is what happens in the spring. Spring is my favorite season! And spring in New York is one of my favorite things ever! I just want to be outside and away from the lonely computer clicking away. I want to be smelling flowers and sneaking in as many walks outside as I can during the work day. But this spring, something else happened. Instead of visiting  LA, or checking out the Outer Banks, or finding mental clarity in Colorado, I decided to stay right where I was for a week off in Brooklyn...and I revisited this little memoir I've been writing for two years. In all fairness, I have not worked on it since last summer because I found it impossible to write about the dissolution of my parents' divorce while planning my wedding. And the memoir isn't so much about that, as it is about the year 2010, when a sudden family tragedy challenged the narrative I had been telling myself  my whole life and my family history began to rewrite itself.  But to answer my friend's question, the writing has been going!...just not on the blog. Blogging and writing are different beasts. And that's not to say that blogging isn't writing. It's just different writing. I love blogging because it's compact and digestible. It's funny and informal and can be inspiring, too. But I can't get away with my blogging voice in the memoir. I have to really sink into the feelings. I have to go back over the sentences and look for moments when I'm rushing through a scene because I'm afraid to remember, I'm afraid to visit my feelings. But, I've been taking this Zen Buddhism class (yep) and we read this essay on emotions and how emotions are energies that pass through us. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. The moment we attach ourselves to an emotion and we identify with it - "I'm just sad..." I'm so pissed!" "I'm scared...." the emotion cannot pass through or we use them to keep away other feelings. Anger is most often caused by hurt. Take it or leave it, but just being present to these feelings and recognizing them as energies that will come and go, has helped me sit a little bit longer with my writing. After I have sufficiently avoided feeling anything after too many hours zoning out on the internet, I will finally admit what I am doing and open that terrifying word document. Sometimes I will just need to sit and stare for a little bit. Sometimes I will type a word and I will feel that energy (that sometimes is happiness, too!) and I try to let them pass...and then continue word at a time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Because There Is The Color Purple

A friend of mine tried to recall a quote the other day. She said, "How does it go? You know there is a God because there is a color purple?"

There is a reference to this idea in the book, The Color Purple.  It is hard to see the beautiful in this world after the events in Boston. Maybe impossible. It is hard to look at the society we live in and not feel frightened. It is hard to turn off the television and give the victims and their families some dignity. It is more than hard to understand and impossible to comprehend the hate that is everywhere.

But for today, I choose to see the love. For today, I choose to welcome purple and pink buds. For today, I choose to pay attention to the people helping, as Mr. Rogers once pointed out. For today, I choose to see a big light on BAM that professes New York's love for Boston. For today, I choose to count my blessings and be grateful for this life. For today, I choose to love, to the best of my ability, in all things I do.

Friday, April 12, 2013

An Action of The Soul

The other night, I heard a women describe love as an action of the soul. When I was 26, a friend of mine who was weeks away from dying said to me, Do you know what it's all about? You have to love everyone. At the time, I remember thinking that was impossible. I disliked so many people. My resentments were deep, my pain plenty.  My understanding of love was to take care of someone. How could I take care or care for people I disliked?

That woman followed up her statement with liking people is an action of the emotions.  For the first time, I understood what my friend had said to me almost six years ago. Love is not about taking care of someone, although sometimes it can mean that. I don't have to like someone to love them. But I can act on account of my soul as opposed to my mind. I can be kind, even towards the people who are rude to me or I feel don't deserve it. And I can get there if I take some of those actions for myself, too, like maybe an overdo haircut, or a walk through Prospect Park, or five minutes during my day where I sit in silence and just listen. The more love I give to myself, the more I don't need the ego. The more I nourish this body, this mind, this soul, the more free I become to move through the world leading with soul and not my story- the story that I tell myself of who I am.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Six Things I Believe To Be True

1. A groundhog knows nothing about how long a fucking winter is going to be. 60 degrees and flats yesterday, 40 degrees and wool coat today.

2. I really need to learn from my own mistakes and so does everyone else. Advice is futile.

3. My happiness directly correlates with how quickly I can accept uncertainty in life and how deftly I adapt to change.

4. A cheese and olive plate will always feel like a special treat.

5. We should all do one thing of service to others and one thing of service to ourselves everyday. It could be as easy as offering up a subway seat in the morning and flossing your teeth at night.

6. It is important to unplug. It is important to be out of touch to get back in touch and re-engage with the world on life's terms, not mine.

It's been a nice break! Happy Almost Spring! (Mother Nature, you tease.)