Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I want to see the signposts on the path. I want to turn a corner and see a destination marker. Just a marker that warns me of what is ahead of me. Falling rock zone. High Altitude. Bridge freezes before road. Perhaps if I had warning, I wouldnt be so shocked when I find myself outside my comfort zone. I have already learned to not get cocky.  When I begin to think I have peaked, I realize theres another mile of mountain or another path around the corner to travel. Signposts are everywhere, because no matter what path I choose, I will eventually end up home. And home is completion. Home is more than the knowing...home is the experience of knowing.
I try to stay in control of the wheel and not freeze up when I see an obstacle in my path. I am no deer in the headlights. I dare the headlights.
Every road leads to home and I cannot help but reach my destination. I just wish I could find the shortest route possible. Why do I always seem to take the detour? We are all climbing the same mountain. But I seem to find myself on the flat face where I'm daunted by the climb. I'm blessed to have the equipment to climb the mountain. And the faith to believe in the view from the top. I look at some of my fellow climbers and wonder how they climb without a rope. I'm relieved to always have a belay. I'm safe, no matter how slippery my path gets. I worry about those at the bottom of the hill. I worry about those who seem crippled and refuse to ask for a hand up. Trusting the hand up is the only way I've found comfort during the journey.
I am praying for revelation. I am listening with both ears and my entire heart. I am starring at the stars and pleased with my creation.
I am learning to not swerve on the ice, but to hold the wheel tight and drive INTO the swerve when it happens. And with every misstep I learn. With every breath, I acclimate to the altitude. And I think I'm going to make it. I can't help BUT make it. Wishing for a window into the future won't make this journey easier. I can conquer whatever throws itself at me. With Gratitude.

Mother Meets the Dalai Lama

My mother went to see the Dalai Lama recently. I was surprised, but she said that since her move to Florida she is taking advantage to do and see every "new" thing. She paid an extra fee to have a personal visit with His Holiness. He was sitting lotus position in a big easy chair. She said her entire being was washed over in this indescribable feeling of love. She told him that she had trouble with the whole thing, because she was a Christian. At the end he told her that she should not be troubled because there was one God loving us all. She asked him to look at a picture of my family. A portrait I had taken of me, Laura and our children. When he saw it he said "a kind family, a loving family." and then, he pointed to ME! And he said "I know her. I know her." and my mother said, "youve met her before?" and he said "I know her. She has a troubled heart. And you have trouble between you. It comes from childhood. Tell her it will heal." He said something about me viewing it from wrong perception. And he said that I would understand when my mother didnt. And I do. Because I understand the Buddhist perception. Its what I've been working on in therapy for 2 years now. How to stay on my path, even when faced with the worst. How to show love and compassion when extremely stressed and faced with things that are driving me to anger, to depression, fear, etc. I know why I am here. I know my path. I am blessed to know these things. But I go off path easily when I am misunderstood or when those around me refuse to hear truth or accept responsibility or do things without thought. Carelessness. Those things take me off path and lately I've had a hard time getting back on. I had questioned my therapist recently on how to show compassion to my mother without allowing her to hurt me. If I completely take her out of my life that means I cannot show her gods love and compassion. If I let her in...the results could be unpredictable. I need to meditate on what His Holiness said. How remarkable that she went. She said that she felt great peace after meeting with him. I know that feeling. I felt it always after sessions with my Swami. The pull to move to a place where my children can go to a temple or zen center has really been big for me lately. I find it hard to meditate and be at peace when I feel trapped here. Do I know the Dalai Lama? Of course I do. We are all one. There is no difference between any of us. We are all on different places on the same path. And we all have different "jobs" or experiences on that path. I am trying to learn the yoga of love. That is my yoga. Always show love, no matter what is shown to me. And sometimes, when someone is ignorant, thoughtless or cruel...I can give it back to them with such blunt honesty that its more cruel than anything else I could give. I may have a gift to see into people. But when they hurt me, I have used that gift to hurt them back. And lately I have not liked myself much for that. I may be so tired of being hurt that I have broken down and gotten off my path. But I think I just got a sign that its time to get my ass back on the trail.

The Girl With The Chucks

Today I started walking with a good friend. She may be the absolute BEST person to walk with...I think she is just refreshing. She's a Seattle girl. I picture her as a teenager trodding thru the puddles in her converse at a time when the world was just beginning to hear Nirvana and Pearl Jam for the first time. She reminds me, with her vintage dresses and her tights, that it's ok to be myself. She reminds me that I'm not alone in this crazy world of raising teenagers and that sometimes it's ok to just give up for a little while and let my kids make their own mistakes. Where would we be if we had not learned from life experience? We can't force our kids into a mold. We have to let them grow. And we have to remember that we are still growing along with our children. Since when did we get to the place where we had all the answers? I may be wearing polo sneakers on my walk today but only because my chucks need an upgrade. I wore them out walking in creeks. And whether I'm wearing Ralph Lauren or Chucks, don't judge a book by it's cover. I'm a complicated person. I have enough layers to be an onion. I want to be everything...and anything...on any day. I want to experience it all. Often I experience life vicariously through my children. I love that my daughter puts holes in the knees of her jeans faster than I can put a run in a pair of nylons. She is LIVING. She is magnificent in her explorations and her adventures. Seeing the world thru her eyes...opens my eyes.
I chuckle when I hear new mothers "planning" their children's lives. They won't ever let them eat fruit loops. They are going to be the star of the little league. They even plan how many children of each sex they will have. And I have to shake my head because that little baseball star might turn out to be a computer geek who hates sports and wears plaid...and in a hurry, a little bag of Fruit Loops can make a long ride shorter. We have to let our children be children...and grow up to be who they are going to be.
Perhaps walking before a job was not the best idea in the world. I am a little stiff. But if I had not gone out to walk, I would be a lot less motivated to go work today. I would be laying in my bed counting the minutes and moaning to myself. Walking in the morning works a lot like an early morning shower. It wakes you up. The world is still opening it's eyes. The petals are unfurling, the dew is fresh on the grass and the birds are singing. The day is calling. And if you begin your day with a friend and a smile it sets the pace for the rest of the day.
This week, I ended one evening warm with my favorite wine and in the arms of someone I really am beginning to care about. And I began a day walking to the park with a friend. It gives me an appreciation for life. We can get far too caught up in our daily schedules, especially during softball season when every day is another day at the concession stand wishing for something other than a hot dog. We start to forget that there is a life, a world...a universe...waiting for us to take notice. I have to remind myself as often as possible that all of this is an illusion and my body is just a vehicle for my spirit. So while riding around picturing myself in my own version of "Meet Dave", I hope I can experience love, hope, laughter...and the early morning bird song...as often as possible.

The Adventures of Mr.Tom

Stepping outside to test the temperature, I give an inward groan. Mr.Tom needs to have a sunbath but it just isnt warm enough yet today. It is supposed to be seventy five degrees this afternoon but it was only thirty last night and there was a frost. So our red eared slider is languishing on a heating pad. I noticed that his shell had a few nicks in it and decided to do some major research. A heating pad was recommended. A host of things was recommended, which was pretty shocking for what I thought would be a low maintenance pet.
Seth begged for a turtle for years. Small aquatic turtles were outlawed. We were able to buy a turtle, finally, this month and only because it had a shell bigger than four inches across. I should have put the research in before the turtle came home but I was so excited to finally fulfill Seth's dream that I just grabbed every turtle accessory I could find and waited to soak in the smile on Seth's face. The guy at the pet store did not give me any stern warnings. He did not recommend a particular tank, certainly not a tank that allowed for ten gallons per inch of shell. We have a ten gallon tank. Since I was looking for a new lid for my ten gallon tank, I was pretty sure he was aware. The special floating turtle dock I purchased does not even fit in the tank. But Seth was smiling...
So now I worry about Mr.Tom. Often. I really did not need anything else to worry about. Seth was not feeling jilted- that should have ERASED the worries I had but now I am just stressed. A life is a responsibility and it doesnt matter to me that it is a small turtles life I am fearing for, it is alive and it's life is in MY hands.
I looked up "Red Earred Sliders" on google for some basic instructions after seeing the nick in his shell. The site was full of warnings, cautioning that taking on a turtle is no small challenge. They require a certain temperature that needs to be monitored. That surprised me since they live in ponds year round. They require calcium on a regular basic as well and the site warned me to not feel Mr.Tom meal worms. I glanced in disgust at the bottle of newly purchased meal worms that sported a red earred slider on its label. It's a good thing I bought him several types of food. He seems to prefer the meal worms. Don't we always want what we shouldnt have? Perhaps a meal worm is a turtle's chocolate. They recommend good veterinary care. Especially if they receive a nick on the shell...
On my budget, a vet is out of the question. I take the first aid advice that they provide and run with it. He needs time in the sun and time on a heating pad. He gets a thirty minute bath twice a day. And, I have to be careful that he doesnt drown. Drown? He is an aquatic turtle. But ok, I'm very paranoid now that he might not come up for air. What if his rocks arent perfectly sloped and he cant climb onto his dock? What if his rocks have bacteria on them that make him sick. If he looks sick I have to put drops in his eyes. But what if he hides in his shell when it's time for the drops? This is just too complicated.
And then I see a special section all about returning turtles to the wild. A lightbulb goes off in my head. I'm certainly not the first person to buy a turtle in impulse. Are there turtles languishing in pet stores all over the county, cheaply priced and headed to certain death? Probably. I know for certain that Mr.Tom hates it when Sage runs off the bus and grabs him impossibly fast iin order to show her friends on the bus how lucky she is. And the dogs barking next to his head...he may just die of fright. He really doesnt appear to be that happy...for a turtle. I decide that Mr.Tom is going to a beautiful pond near us where he can be appreciated. And where I'm not the guilty party should he perish. It took awhile to sell Seth on the idea. But I think he understands that this is a bigger responsibility than he really wanted to undertake. I tell him that we can paint his shell with a bit of enamel and find him whenever we want. Something tells me it won't be that simple but Seth jumps at the idea.
It is just too cold for Mr.Tom to lay in the sun right now. But I can relax, just a bit, knowing that tonight he is heading back to the wild.