Cuyahoga River

Cuyahoga River
Cuyahoga River in the Valley

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Finding My Absolutes

What are the things that matter most in your life? Do you even know? My life often feels like I'm meandering along a river and wander into dead-end tributaries, all the while bringing up muck from the river's bottom. I focus on unnecessary things and am pulled in too many directions. The worst thing is that I ALLOW this to happen to me. So I spent some time looking at my life and how I spend my time and what paths I'm led down and came up with those things that are absolutely essential to me. The list was long and included the things in my life that really matter: family, nature, travel, yoga, writing, and art. It also included things that quiet the soul, those things that are more about an attitude towards living, the hazy but focused living-well reminders for everyday living like being present and living in the moment and living each day as a prayer. Those things mean different things to me than they do to you, and some of them may not be on your radar. I wrapped it all up in a neat little poster, and in the center were the words "Presence brings meaning, listening allows connection." As 2013 draws to an end and 2014 stretches out long and promising before us, I'm not making lists, because lists make life a drudgery. But I am thinking about my absolutes and living each day as if it really matters. Because it does.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Why Write a Book

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” ― Toni Morrison

Friday, December 6, 2013

Crafted at Word Lovers at River's Edge

BY A THREAD Clutching what we have hollows our words into platitudes, Empty promises cloud the connection between your eyes and mine. We are not sorry for anyone’s loss, nor will we miss each other, Our heavy black bags drag life from our souls until they are As cancelled as a life insurance policy, a corpse-like non-person. What I lost in that office that was my home for ten years Was the innocence of a child’s trust in her parent. I am forsaken, fearful, without an oar but in a kayak, Floating on striated rivers watched by white-headed eagles And shoreline totem poles that exude the voices of the Ancients. Lolled to comfort as the valley’s shadows move with the sun; The transient physical world is light and dark and gray, unfocused. While seeking that which cannot be seen, the flow of the river, the wind against my cheek, the rowing of our arms help me forget that office above Browns stadium with Lake Erie beyond, The place where belief was suspended, and I was dying. Beneath a wide open sky in a wall-less arena, First Peoples whisper what is required: to be present and connected and One. Mother Earth and the Holy Spirit gladden my expanded heart. I remember home: red maples over my head, buckeyes under foot, And paths winding along the Rocky River and the Crooked River Trampled by the Hopewell peoples and Western Reserve settlers. “Kum Ba Yah,” roof-shingling ghetto mission trips, hands in prayer, time spreads out before me, a person of worth and loved. Future possibilities tango with remembrances of the past. On our 35th wedding anniversary at a log cabin restaurant, my husband snuggles next to me instead of across from me. He leans over to kiss my cheek and erase my stunned pain that he sometimes views the world differently from me and happily-ever-after is a keen deception that brings tears to my eyes. We hold on by a tight and strong thread; gratitude confounds me. He travels with me to faraway places to help me know what’s real And walks with me along the rivers at home to keep me grounded. The scary stuff is torn away, dismantled, scourged.