Sunday, September 26, 2010


When my son was 2 years old, we accidently created a ritual. While he napped I would clean up the play-shelf that was mounted beneath the window in our den. I arranged the scattered array of miniature animals, tiny 'fisher price' people, cars, and other objects in playful poses on the shelf where they lived.

Our family bed consisted of a mattress and box-springs on the floor in our bedroom. Waking up, he would climb off the bed, walk silently past me, and head for the shelf that held his tiny populated world.

I watched with delight while he surveyed the scene, then immediately began to rearrange everything until he achieved precisely the set design he wanted. Each day he would produce a different exhibit. Then he would come find me calling excitedly, “Come see, momma—come see!”

When he graduated with a degree in film studies, his passion was to be a D.P. (director of photograpy). He called the shots and orchestrated the scenes in his graduation movie. I was honored when he invited us to observe him in action as he filmed on location. It was just like the shelf in his room, except that he did the script, casting, and directing, of ‘real people’, on a set that he arranged.

Fast-forward through three years of living on his own, gainfully employed in his craft until the economy collapsed, when he had to move back in with ‘the parents’. Suddenly, the wonderful relationship, which we had all developed as adult friends, was put to many tests. Living together under one roof, again, with all the ghosts of time-past eager to resurrect themselves—we weren’t always sure where we stood with this very private, autonomous, and outspoken young man.

So, one afternoon when I was alone in the house, feeling apprehensive about how this trial living situation might impact our three-way bond, my gaze caught something amiss on the fireplace mantle. My little figurine of two monkeys, with their arms around each other was perched upon one edge of the brick mantle-top. They were exactly where I had placed them months ago. But on the opposite corner of the mantle something was missing. It was a rubber bend-a-toy figure of Tim Burton’s lead character Jack, ‘The Pumpkin King’, from one of our son’s favorite movies: The Nightmare Before Christmas. He had rediscovered Jack as he was going through his things.

Without saying anything to anyone, I had placed the figure on the opposite end of the mantle from the hugging monkeys, bending the long legs so that Jack was relaxed with knees crossed and leaning back on one elbow. Now, seeing that Jack was gone, I felt a twinge of concern. Then I noticed something strange about the monkey couple. They were not alone. Jack was standing behind them, bending over with his arms wrapped around them both. A happy threesome.

I laughed out loud as I saw it. And I knew in that instant that everything would be all right.

Monday, September 20, 2010


This morning, I awoke rested after a good nights sleep. The house was breathless. No one else was here. Stillness softened the contours of life. Cushioned by a subtle sense of permission, I felt free in some strange new way.

Maybe I'll begin the blog I've always longed to write? I approached the temple of my writing desk to face my keyboard, eager to
do the one thing that's always drawn me: Write about what's Real. Immediately, I opened a fresh blog page, ignoring whispered echos of danger.

I know how fickle the reassuring arms of freedom can be, so this time, I vowed to seize this precious moment.

Just briefly, I distracted myself, by checking out the latest entries from 'blogs you follow'. Then on my way to boil water for tea I organized the unsorted mail on my dining table, finding a note from someone 'in need'. I was about to call and 'just briefly check in' on this friend when a scathing voice of cruelty shot through my Being, causing me to cower in defense:

You will NEVER accomplish the things that matter most to you!

This 'life sentence' from a familiar old script, means well. It merely hopes to save me through proactive defeat. It presumes to help me face the absurdity of such false hope (in thinking I might actually break free to live my dreams). It intends to stop me before I make the foolish mistake of trying. Or fall into the folly of trusting. It just wants me to achieve the usual 'safe' result: give up before I start.

It is strange to sit and watch your 'self' be fought over like a wager in some gambler's 'high-stakes' game. Yet, I waited curiously without taking sides--simply to see what might happen. Gently, out of the Silence, a suggestion stole into the arena of this mental war-zone:

You are a free, innocent child. Let yourself be curious. Grok Life's unfoldment with passion. Be an eager witness to the innate wisdom of Existence.

This clear, steady impulse, came with a strong, yet subtle, mandate. Phoenix-like it emerged from hot ash, reached for me and gratefully, I am reaching back.

What is real, now--as I take my first step, into this lifelong venture--is that I do
NOT have to choose between either of these uninvited thought-threads, even though they seem to be pointing in opposite directions. In fact, it is obvious that they both belong to this experience, as I belong to my life.

How do I know this? Because both of these 'voices' are 'in there' as part of my life-fabric. Initially the distractions standing between me and this blog, looked like obstacles. Yet, each one of them contain unique nuggets of value just for me. It is so easy to view such vastly different messages from our deeply conditioned stance of 'right/wrong' or 'good/bad'. But I have missed out on many tailor-made insights this way. Every blemish and every contradiction, emerges as a genuine part of something larger. Nothing stands alone. Everything belongs.

I am discovering an obvious secret: whatever happens (inside or outside) is something that wants to be noticed by me. All that
Anything wants of us, is our full and undivided attention during its 'one and only' moment onstage. Just like people do, 'it' wants to be respected, exactly as it is. Nothing wants to be criticized, resisted, or possessed. So, there is no need to hold onto these insights once they have been truly noted (nor to the programed voices, or each other, or ourself). Letting go, and loving, walk hand in hand. We release one breath to take another.

I approached the altar of my writing desk, this morning, fully expecting an eloquent blog entry to spring forth. Instead, I found myself moving with capricious currents, through a
hodge-podge of mismatched, unplanned developments. 

Each sentence, here, separated by periods and spaces, appears to exist independently, yet to this blog they are an essential part of an integral whole. How can I truly write about what is Real, unless I allow the flaws and detours to appear in the spotless mirror of Truth, which reflects things exactly as they are?