We Divide.

photo: Pinterest

photo: Pinterest

I woke up that morning feeling stronger than I have for a while.

Much less pain, emotionally and physically.

For the first time since really knowing there would be no contact, this not seeing him makes sense. I recognize that I have energy (again) for the things that matter back at me. Thank goodness.

Other people sometimes aren’t so passionate about understanding. That and / or they are too busy trying to understand other things, trying to support other people. This is good. I’m good with this. I get it. I need it too, in my own life.

Our lives aren’t so fused any more and that’s okay. His presence was mostly what made such a difference this past year and he’s just not able to offer that to me any more. Good. With this acceptance and letting go I have a bit more energy for the people and things that need/love me back: writing, friends, elephant things, me.

I often think about the ways we separate ourselves, the walls we put up and why. We build walls around our hearts, sometimes, for good reasons. I don’t want to go so far as to say that these always have to do with power ‘over’ people, or power in a bad way. It’s normal to want to be able to control situations.

But the less that one makes one’s goal about real love, the more likely these walls are to be about power: holding more for ourselves if and when we need it, we create divides so that we can feel we have some control over something…even if the something is just ourselves.

I think of walls as not the same as boundaries. Boundaries are more like lines that one chooses to draw. Also for power, but more about reserving it. More about holding (loving) energy than shutting it out.

Anyhow, walls.

Walls are normal, innocent enough. But can be cruel too. Even just small things that we do without meaning to be mean: judging, blaming.

We all do it.

When our walls are down, I think that there is more capacity for actual love to flow freely, instead of having the back-forth, push-pull power (attachment) dynamics ruling our lives.

I watched the documentary called ‘Blackfish’ last night. It reminded me of the way we like to put things on display, to dance for us. The ‘glass wall,’ how we create the illusion of seeing another being but we are actually keeping ourselves separated.

Performer vs. audience.

The show is fun, sure. When it’s between two beings who understand that they are on equal ground, it is an essential part of play. Of joy. Lightness. So important.

But this show is just a small part of our lives; when real hearts fuse it is about so much more.

We might feel vulnerable and try to assume control or power in some way, and that’s when it gets messy.

Or maybe it was messy the whole time because we already (subconsciously) assumed power or control over the other person or over the situation, meaning that one or both people would never really be free to be their fullest and most evolving selves, or to be with their ‘pod’ or tribe or family.

I’m not here to dance for anyone, no more than those orcas are for audiences/trainers/owners. The power-seekers and their puppets.

So long as we (they) keep thinking that that’s what others are here for, for our own benefit (entertainment, money, power, lives) or to make us feel better, relationships will always be imbalanced and never be real.

It’s a normal human thing, this divide, but when it’s about power or money it can kill. It chips away at compassionate action.

There are fine lines between healthy boundaries and actual walls. But when we build walls, it’s more about power and less about love.

So I will set my boundaries and cry a bit and feel like a bit of a fool for opening my heart but I still know it’s the only way to do.

These are big ideas, the metaphor stretches across all relationships with all beings, I think. And I am not perfect at anything. Noone is. We are all learning and evolving.

But I think that one of the most important things in this moment/day/life/world is to just notice hearts. To question ourselves ourselves and the world. To be aware of which actions stem from money or power or control or ego.

To watch the intentions behind our attachments and remember that true compassion means practicing freedom from these things.

Posted in Friendship, Love, mindfulness, Moments, Personal growth, Uncategorized, well being | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Inspiration for my chapbook

dove imprint captain tenneal at flickr

(Photo by Captain Tenneal at Flickr)

I’ve decided to put together a book of poetry, inspired by and dedicated to my Uncle Peter and his wife Nellie McClung (granddaughter of the Canadian suffragette). They were creatives (poets, amongst other things) now both deceased.

I think of them more and more the older I get because – well, forgive me if I sound callous (I mean this as the highest compliment) but they were the quintessential ‘crazy’ poets.

Both were afflicted with Schizophrenia and met at Riverview in the 1970′s. They did their thing because they had to.

Or because they didn’t have much else. Or because it was everything.

How do we describe the need to create? 

When I was younger and they were alive, I didn’t get their poetry, their relationship. But now I do-at least a little bit more. I wish that I could write with them.

I dug up a couple of their own publications and did a little Google search. It’s difficult to find something that is Nellie ‘Lillian’ rather than ‘Letitia’ McClung, the latter being the famous suffragette and Nellie’s grandmother.

I did find this little dedication to Nellie from the SPCA. She didn’t have much, but she left some of that to the animals – pretty cool. And her obituary here.

I found my own ‘Raindrop,’ Peter’s paper stapled book of Haikus.

At the back is a poem from Nellie to Peter. I think it’s a lovely and strange snippet of their lives together, a set of simple moments that was really so much more.

Sonnet for Peter

I hung my poem
about Ireland
out the window
to dry for you
(you lying pale & wan
in your hospital bed)
& soon the gannet & kestrel
small sparrows in twos & threes
alighted at your window
& pecked at the words
& you said it was good
excitement in your voice
“The birdies are here.”
on the phone

not knowing what to do
with my simple poems
I came each day
and pinned my latest poem
with clothes pins
on a wire across your window

I thought of Chekhov’s story we shared
of the man who goes to visit
a hospital patient, & describes
the view out the window, to the enthusiasm
of the patient, the next visitor
saying there was only a brick wall

& again of Li Po who put his poems
in lighted candled paper boats

and sent them out to sea in the dark.

~ Nellie McClung

Posted in Love, Moments, Poetry, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

emptying out

space is the breath of art

Two months. Two months I’ve been on leave.

I’ve turned my life in exactly the direction that I want, creating space to know that I am valued professionally, that I’m enough in demand that I don’t have to worry about unemployment, that people see my skills and want to work with me.

Having this space has given me a bit of wiggle room to just learn that others know what I do, what I’m about. This is huge, and was missing in my last job.

And also: I have my dream job. Not just a job, but a huge ground-breaking career move that I’m so ready for. I feel that I *should* be writing this post like this: “I have my dream job!!!!!!!” Complete with a gazillion exclamation points.

I am honoured and grateful to be working at elephant: I’ve never felt so right about anything in my life. This is where I belong. So I’m excited, yes, but calm.

But the rest of the space…well, it’s strange. I don’t feel like myself. I think that I’m transforming, shedding layers.

And there is this other part of my life that I am letting go of too. I am having heart- memories of many moments of bliss, as close to perfection as I’ve ever felt.

Goddess moments.

I write often about embracing uncertainty, about understanding that discomfort and fear are to be faced and acknowledged instead of run away from.

And I’m uncomfortable, sure. But beyond that. I feel really strange.

I feel like-well, not like me.

I’ve decided that it’s because it’s another level – layer – of transformation, something that I have to go through. This is the most intense part – not the worst (there is not a good or bad), just the most extreme. I think that it will level out in a couple of months, that this new skin might feel more natural and grow a little thicker.

And thank goodness the people around me have been/are so supportive and patient.

I’m so sure of my heart but the rest of life feels upside down. I feel totally lost but I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m okay, but I feel so different. Kind of disconnected.

Sometimes it feels a bit like depression, anxiety, sickness. But I think it’s different than just some sort of diagnosis.

I think it’s just the next level of that in-between state:

“Becoming intimate with the queasy feeling of being in the middle of nowhere only makes our hearts more tender.” ~ Pema Chodron (The Places That Scare You)

Anyhow, I’m letting go, emptying out, dropping a lot right now.

‘Turn on, tune in, drop out’ I guess (same idea, only minus the LSD).

Releasing a lifetime of thoughts and beliefs about what is supposed to be, and creating my own is.

Sometimes the emptying is coming in tears, but also in things, thoughts, relationships. Judgements, loves, fears and moments.

I have this habit of writing in ‘big’ concepts, of just pouring out the big picture all at once, a big complex and unclear and abstract set of thoughts.

As all these things fall I hurt, but I get better. I shed layers. I clear clutter. I fight every day with myself, with other people…well, people go pretty easy on me, but I still feel it. I still feel the judgement.

But the thing that makes me feel right, in the end, is that whatever this is, it’s not really about me.

It’s about interbeing, exchange. It’s two-way.

And this weird ‘not me’ kind of feeling is a part of what has to happen to come to a fresh start. Starting smaller, simpler, clearer.  

Creating, producing, giving.    

Oh ocean of thoughts. I love you. But you are so big and full and complex and swirling.

A need to write like the desert. 

Posted in Community, Creating, mindfulness, Uncategorized, well being, writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments