Friday, November 18, 2011


I am re-remembering, again, the extreme importance of being excited with life. Of being thrilled for the possibilities. Life has soooo much to offer. The surprises and discoveries, the harder things to learn, even, the limitless wonders and unexpected simple pleasures, the weaknesses that are also the strengths - they are enough to keep us humming inside and out all day if we only knew and re-remembered them more!

I opened up a book about poetry this morning and a quote jumped out at me:
"What is to give light must endure burning" - Viktor Frankle (author of Man's Search for Meaning)

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Gift from the Sea" Notes from a year and a half ago, found now

I am looking back at the beginning of my journal as I am about to use up the last pages and start a new one. In the first few pages of this old one, I notice my notes from reading the wonderful book "Gift from the Sea" by Anne Morrow dated March 2010. Those notes were written when I started this journal over a year and a half ago. Then, I was still living in Austin and reading that book at my grandmothers in Wimberley; it is one of her favorites. I lost the journal a few pages in and I started a new one. I found this lost journal and started writing in it again a few months ago, and now I've almost used it up because I go through journals quickly. Its interesting to have a journal with some entries from over a year and a half ago alongside entries written within the last few months - and to have the older notes line up so much more perfectly with where I am at now then where I was at then:

"What makes us hesitate and stumble? It is fear, I think that makes one cling nostalgically to the last moment or to clutch greedily at the next...But how to exorcize it? It can only be exorcized by its opposite, love. When the heart is flooded by love there is no room for fear, for doubt, for hesitation" (106)

"A larger rhythm, a natural swinging of the pendulum between sharing and solitude; between the intimate and the abstract; between the particular and the universal, the near and the far" (106)

"When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility, yet this is exactly what so many of us demand." (108)

"We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity, when the only continuity possible in life, as in love, in in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping even.

Live in the present relationship and accept it as it is now.

For it is only framed in space that beauty blooms. Only in space are events and objects and people - unique and significant - and therefore beautiful" (115)

"Patience - faith - openness, is what the sea has to teach. Simplicity - solitude - intermittency" (127)

Playing with Fire and Water

Ocean eyes I can dive deeply into
Finding myself reflected back
Inside an obsidian center,
My gaze intersected by meridian blue
And the sound of the sea within
The nautilus maze of my ear.

I am writing by a stream,
Now, Dear, do you know?
Water rushes clear under ragged snow,
And over glistening mica sand.
I recall your heart flushing,
Equally alive, rising, falling,
Beneath my fully opened hand,
As I breathed the words in jest,
"Don't even play with fire."
Maybe what I meant in earnest was,
Let the flames burn faster, higher,
Lighter, brighter, not consuming us,
but renewing, lasting through us.

Thoughts and Feelings

Yesterday was one of those floating dream days where every moment seemed inspired and as new as the light green shoots of grass passing up through the old ones. The hours were all that much more magical because I woke up not knowing or having planned a thing that would happen in them. The day could therefore become itself, created spontaneously. Malleably. Unfolding. I awoke in downtown Santa Fe seeing the sun strike through the line of wine glasses on the window ledge. By late morning, we are sitting in conversation and sunlight at a French cafe taking bites of delicious pear and mixed-berry claffouties - the namesake of the cafe. Later, still in sunlight, we are talking on the apartment patio, traffic and pedestrians pass by out of focus to me as I am wrapt up in communication - verbal and unspoken. An hour later, inside to use the restroom, he says: "Control is not real." I feel thats it exactly that I've been struggling how to bring to the surface. Yes, control is an illusion.

The conversation has built an energy, tangible almost.

Later, the sun is going down. Energy has been spent. I want to go for a walk before the beautiful day turns to night. How about going somewhere for a glass of wine? Soon we are walking to Maria's New Mexican Restaurant, a good walk that uses up the last of the daylight. I realize we have not eaten anything, but air and words, since the pastries this morning. During some point in the walk, he states: "There is no meaning." I am startled for a second, though I don't know if I show it. Then I realize what he means and that I have come to the same conclusion at one time or another. There is no meaning, but the meaning you create. I decided a long time ago that I love meaning and I love creating meaning out of everything that happens in my life. Everyone creates their own meaning. Or they don't. You will only have as  much meaning in your life as you create out of it. This day has been so special partly because I have found so much meaning in the simplicity of it. We settle into a new conversation over pina coladas, enchiladas, tamales, chile rellenos.

After concluding the night with a witty, funny comedy, newly released and titled, "Arthur", I feel a tinge of sadness that the day is over, accompanied by a rush of gratitude. Bittersweet.

I remember another comment he made during the day, when we were outside still talking on the patio. He said, "Thoughts and feelings are the same thing." Do we think they are separate because we have been brought up thinking this way? A thought comes to me now, later, not in his company anymore, maybe thoughts and feelings are the same energies just at different stages of development...

I take a while to process and reflect. If I speak too soon about something, the thoughts will come out only partly formed. Writing always helps me with the development of feelings to thoughts and vice versa. Maybe that is one of the reasons why I write.

The challenge becomes to be moved

Nature always moves me.

Behind my house.
Up sand and scrub.
Through arroyos and gravel roads.
The sky at my back, stares dark grey,
weighted and waiting to spill.
But only a few sprinkles press my cheeks.
And I walk further still, alone,
than I ever have before.
Past even the lone gates
with security enforced signs.
The heavy slate sky arrests my breath,
I stop to take it in,
before I turn.