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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

TAKES SO LITTLE OF YOU TO MAKE MY WORLD BIG


Some days are better than others. And all it takes to make me feel better than I might feel already is someone to simply be nice to me. Today, that happened.

Some things, not proudly, I really, really dislike doing. I say not proudly because I don't think I have a right to dislike doing these things. After all, so many people don't have the chance to dislike doing these things because they have so little. Having said that disclaimer, some of the things I really dislike doing - and know that because I put it off much of the time - are vacuuming, filing the unending paper work that comes with living in this country, tidying closets, drawers or rooms that I have let go way too long.
And balancing my checkbook if it takes longer than matching up the entries between my ledger and the bank's list. For over a year once, I let balancing my check book go and it just felt overwhelming because when I started up again trying to balance the figures, they never came close to one another. Fortunately, the lack of balance figure was always in my favor, like I neglected to enter a deposit.

About a year ago, I started a new account and decided to balance. I figured out the difference and simply added the difference to my amount. Then I carefully watched to see how it worked out.

Well, Tuesday night I sat down to dig in for this past month's statement. I was off by a little over $200. After recalculating my ledger's figures three times and while I was falling asleep...against my nature, I decided to quit for the night and face it in the morning. My plan to face it was to call the bank with a couple of questions, with the most important being "Should I come in and get some help trying to figure out my statement?"

Yes, was the answer. So off I went before I did the other dreaded things on my "to do" list for the day. I got Edie, who I had worked with before. Very sweet and easy to work with. We worked at her desk for about an hour and it was nearing closing time. Edie didn't mind that it was past closing time (although I had to mind because I had those other "dreaded things" to do that I wanted to be over with that day and not be put off another day).

I noticed while working on it and sharing with Edie thoughts and frustrations about not balancing that we were two of the same kind. Last month I was off 8 cents and although that bothered me, I simply added the 8 cents and called it "balanced". And I told Edie that I would be willing to add the amount this time and call it "done". But Edie didn't want to do that. Edie asked me if she could keep my ledger overnight to work on it the next day. After hesitating, to hand over my "record keeping of all purchases" ledger, I relented and was grateful for her willingness to take this on. She told me "you know this is going to haunt me" (if we don't find the reason my account isn't balancing).

Today, at 2:00 p.m. Edie called and asked if I could the detect in her voice the happiness she was feeling. She discovered the mistake. So I went in to get my ledger. She was so excited. And I understand because when I balanced recently to the penny I was thrilled for days after. But this excitement that she was feeling was for
my account. Isn't that sweet!

We got to talking about other things and she hesitated, looking at her computer screen and said she felt embarrassed to ask but felt she could ask me - I guess because we were getting on so well together. She said she felt the bank had the wrong birthday in my records. She said she wanted to say something yesterday, but couldn't bring herself to ask me my age. Without hesitating, I told her. The bank had it right. Here is the nice part...she said she thought the bank had to have the wrong birth year because I looked no where near that age. At least 10 years younger.

Well, need I say how delighted I was to hear that?

I mean, for about the first 30 years of my life I always looked younger than I was. Probably due to my height. Short people just look like they must still be growing into their adult height. And I had been "carded" well into my 30's or older.

But, the mirror has been telling me for some time now, "old" is a word that I have to come to terms with. I hear myself say out loud and often and loudly, "but I don't want to be old!".

She asked me if I hadn't noticed the previous day as she stared at her computer screen. I hadn't noticed. She said she was struggling trying to figure out if the picture of me on the screen from my driver's license was really me and if the date could possibly be correct. It was me. She showed it to me. Only I had my hair cut very short in that picture and now it is long. The short hair makes me look older, apparently.

So, Edie made me feel good. And I was already feeling good. Isn't that sweet of her to be so nice.

It takes so little to be kind. It costs nothing. And yet, how many times have people not taken the time to give you a kind look, a nice tone of voice or simply a glowing aura that radiates into your experience of the day?

So, I thanked Edie genuinely.

We talked more. Got into so much more after that. Politics, the social climate over the last several months in this country that has a poisonous feeling to it and I admitted to Edie that I struggle with accepting old age being mine now. A young old, but still it is where I am.

As I told Edie, we don't feel any older inside. We are always young there. Our spirit is youthful forever. At least I feel my spirit is. I work on being in a good mood, even when I have to do those dreaded things that keep me from what I gravitate toward, the internet, my writing, my music, my movies. I feel so alive when I am being creative. I consciously try to be grace. And smile. There is nothing we can do, wear or fix ourselves up to look like if the face is drawn, drab, grudging, resentful.

So I try to think about going into this last chapter of my full experience by being one filled with grace, having a smile on my face, but most importantly inside. I laugh a lot when I am all by myself. I crack myself up most every day and many times a day.

A store that I go into locally, has a clerk in it that also makes me feel special. More than once she has spoken words of kindness to me. She has told me there is a glow that she can see around me. Recently, she thanked me for the light and happy spirit that entered the store when I came in the door. And that a woman just had left that had the opposite effect on her and the other clerk. So she wanted me to know how much it meant to her to bring a better spirit into the space of the store.

This is just so special. And the kindness of "strangers" is always welcome. I feel blessed.

So, though walking into years that none of us dreams of looking forward to (at least I didn't), I am so full of life, gratitude and anticipation. I feel vibrant. I just started my 21st journal that I have written over the last 40 years. On Tuesday, October 13, I wrote this page:

Age is a number.

Living is an art

if you live it.

The number of days, hours, minutes, even,

that you are alive

matter none compared

to how vibrant, how alive

you are.

I am vibrant, alive.



On the first page I wrote this quote which is one of the many quotes that I have around the house on the walls:

Whatever you can do

or dream,

you can

BEGIN IT

Boldness

has genius,

power

and magic

in it.

Goethe

And followed that with the following on page 2, 3, 4

The free side

is where only a few of us dare to be. And for us, sometimes we are pulled from the free side to the side where we are tied down to the less free. Free is where what others think - holds nothing on us. Free is where our own thoughts break through self-imposed limits or pressures from somewhere. Free does not ask of us to reign in our transcending qualities. I love it out here.

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Uploaded by holden11

I just felt so surprised by the transcendent, released feelings while watching Angels in America on HBO (HBO is the best channel). I had never seen it before, although I had wanted to ever since seeing that it had won an award on some award show.

The freeness of the ideas, words, concepts was marvelous. Marvelous - what a perfect word for it.
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Uploaded by Malekeater

Those who don't get it would judge it as crazy, out there. But I connected to it. And with such welcome. Just loved that someone, many someones took the chance to walk on the free side and make such a masterpiece of art, of work, of heart, soul.

So often we let the average keep us from the superlative.

It is such a cheat. Because we miss the wonderment of being so totally, so thoroughly connected. Because it is just so joyful out here in " the transcendent". I love it. It's where I want to be. And long to be when I'm not here. October 12, 2009 1:40 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.

Followed two pages after with this quote that I have in my bathroom:

Be yourself.

There's something

that you can do better

than any other.

Listen

to the inward voice

and bravely obey that.

Unknown source

And in the middle of the night in the darkness of the room, I reached for my journal and pen and wrote while in the darkness this word:

Erased

I had been thinking of my mother and how she had affected me. How she made me feel with her words and actions toward me when my father was near his death.

So, it is okay to have these contradictions inside.

We can be joyful while carrying the acknowledgement of pain from people who should have been protective of who we are. Who should have wanted for us to be whole, connected and full of life
.

I can because I think I can.

I wrote that down recently on my refrigerator.

When I was teaching in my classroom - those words in giant letters, I painted on the front bulletin board. I wanted to convey to my students that what we think can enable us to succeed at something we are afraid we can't do or can bring the outcome we desire.


See that box up there on the porch
that was some place I made for myself.

I used to "fly" off that porch. I don't know why I just remembered that. It isn't a vivid memory.
But I used to practice jumping off that porch in an attempt to fly.
Brings a smile to me even now.

We are always the girls or boys.
Nothing wrong in that.
I think it is a good thing.

So many good things inside us when we are children.

Kids are so cool.

...born in that house.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I love to find quotes that are meaningful to me
and touch me in a special and connected way.
Here is an excerpt from a photography book.


We need an education of the heart and spirit,


The most important things belong first, not last, or never.

In search of a new world, the wings of the spirit must not be clipped.

The days of our lives must become precious.

In all heaven and earth, there is this one thing to do:

take your time

Enjoy the perfection of what you are doing.

Enjoy accomplishing it exquisitely.

Human life must know ecstasy.

Intense beauty is liberation.

…Here again, as everywhere,

the great river passing –

I passing,

you passing . . .

. . . forever flowing down through time,

flowing through many channels,

fading out of the embraces of its names . . .

. . . simple as the voice of a child

and never to be quite known.

In this light and breeze are resurrection echoes.

Suddenly one becomes aware one lives in an eternity,

And hears strange footsteps

Ascending anciently trodden pathways.

Our lives like dreams endure

and reach out over the universe.

Nothing real is to itself alone.

There are sidestreams to rivers,

there are overtones to thought.

Great love reaches out

and is involved in the world’s purposes.

Our loves are only symbols of an unknown immortality.

Where communion is deep,

there exists no separation at all,

for what needs telling those we love is understood already,

and what is supposed to be gone and past

is often more real than ever.

Through the sculpture of experience,

that part of ourselves which survives, like cloud, resolves continuously.

This is the spirit of my hope and my religion.

Cedric Wright

Words of the Earth


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