gasping for air as waves of emotion CRASH over the bow of this ship called Memory.
it is a dark and stormy night on this ocean of recollection, and i am, once again, lost in a squall of reminiscence and regret; falling overboard into the sea of sorrows; drowning in the now-ancient ghosts of loves ruinous and unrequited.
swim for the shore, or let the raging waters pull me under?
fight the seductive current, or go, like a brave sailor, to my fate?
relinquish choice, i will breath in the salty ache that will lead me to my destruction
release free will, the cold words that dragged me down towards my not-so-swift demise will rise up again to consume me
accept as mine the actions of another, that left my ego bleeding alongside the rocky shore of my now-torn sensuality, i will never recover from them.
instead, in the all-encompassing ocean of hurts unshared,
for silence for salvation
listening, listening, as i drown in remembrance, for the siren song of the words i most wished to hear all those pain-filled months ago.
there is a weighty silence in answer to my prayer as i sink sink sink into the anguish that comes from the past yet seems to be all around me.
i flail, reaching out
for my equilibrium, for my faith, for the return of a world turned upright again.
despair -- dark and winsome -- winds itself seductively around my heart, as resignation attempts to attach itself to my fight-weary psyche.
my lungs, filled with the stale air of unsaid truths, threaten to burst.
i hit bottom.
there is no light.
all is silent.
in the waiting stillness, a small clear voice sings truth; weaving a safety net with the sureness of its gentle veracity.
"true love," it hums
"will not weigh you down, or cut your soul to ribbons."
"true love," it croons,
"love that is healthy, honest, and open, is no anchor. it would never drag you with it into the deep!"
"true love," it reminds me,
"love that sustains, supports, communicates, and is given freely, is buoyant and beautiful!"
"true love" it sings with clarity, "is a lifeboat, waiting to take you on board."
reveling in that verity, i kick against the hurt, fight the sorrows, refuse the plate of bitterness in the overwhelming darkness at the bottom of this muddied ocean.
Up, up, up I swim, towards truth and confidence, towards honesty and kindness, past the snaggle-toothed sea-monsters named fear and doubt, past the bleeding creatures from the deep named insecurity-bred-of-cruelty and defeat.
Gasping, I break the surface of my tattered ego to breathe once again the soothing air of strength, of beauty, of grace, of Self.
Praising the sky, the cool wind in my sun-warmed hair, and the lifeboat that i now carry with me always in my gentle, gracious heart.
Remembering to find things to be positive about feels a little tough right now. They feel a little hard to come by. And yet, they're there. I know they are. They're right here, even.
You see, I'm sitting here, having just watched a few miraculous videos of a handful of lucky survivors of the Japanese quake and tsunami being reunited. I'm crying like a baby.
I've been consumed by the videos, photos, and news media of this tragic example of Mother Earth's might, and am reeling still with the shock of it all. In addition, there is the ongoing fear that is walking hand in hand with the state of the nuclear plants there.
Plus there is the fear that is instilled in me that California could very easily be next. We're overdue for a huge quake here, by some large number of years it seems, and frankly, we are ill prepared for it.
That tsunami was 4 stories tall and went SIX MILES inland. The quake moved the island of Japan 8 feet and made the planet shift 4 inches on its axis. How do you prepare for something like that? I mean really?
So I'm sitting here after several days of media inundation (even without owning a television), feeling helpless to do much besides send money and finding myself feeling fearful and losing sight of the many, many things I have to be thankful for. Today. Right now. This instant.
I am also reminded that I need to, er no, that I will be putting together survival boxes this week. One for my car, one for work, one for home. Carma told me that in the N.E.R.T. training she did that they said to be sure to put work gloves and garbage bags into the kit which would never have occurred to me but strikes me as brilliant. Onto the list they go.
I suppose some of my weepy, fearfulness comes from the fact that I'm also ill...again. Not badly this time thankfully, just achey, snuffy, mildly sore-throatish and a little listless. At least the mild fever seems to be gone today....which means I'm headed in the right direction. Hooray!
My mild illness is small potatoes in the light of what is going on everywhere else in the world right now, but I do know that it affects my psyche.
So yeah...gratitude. I can haz some now? :) Umyespleez. :)
Without further prattling, today I'm singing my gratitudes as follows:
1) I'm very, incredibly, deeply thankful that I know where my friends and family are for the most part and that for the most part they're doing ok.
2) I am also very, incredibly, deeply thankful for the basic amenities that I so often forget to give thanks for, and yet still try not to take for granted. I have a home (albeit a temporary one) to go to. I have food to eat. I can go to the grocery store and to the pharmacy. I can put fuel in my vehicle or take mass transit easily. Health care is expensive I'm blessed enough to have it. I have an income. I have access to my phone and to computer and to many forms of communication. Truly, I am blessed and thankful.
3) On a frivolous note, I'm taking my first beginning ukulele class tonight. I'm thankful that this is happening and that I can walk there from Katie & Michael's. I'm excited to check this wee instrument out. Hooray for the mighty uke!
4) Holly, who today asked a loaded question and didn't shy away when I gave my equally loaded answers/emotionally barfed at her. Thank you, Holly. Truly. Thank you.
5) Simple pleasures.
6) Buying comfy walking shoes at The Walk Shop so that I can start doing SOME form of exercise again. Selena was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and I have comfy, comfy shoes on my feet.
7) Renewing my interest in photography in a tangible way. I have actually been shooting almost every day and it feels so good! Did a shoot in the pouring rain for a friend's new website on Sunday, and while it was cold and very wet, it was also very satisfying to find out that she really loves the images. I feel like I have more consistent control over the quality of my images and that feels really good. I still make many mistakes, but, as my friend Deb is fond of saying "progress, not perfection."
8) The inspiration afforded to me by other photographers. These days I follow these blogs because I not only like their work but their voices:
9) My mostly girl-gang of clicky whee (a strange code phrase for photography fun). Thanks lovely people for photo-geeking with me.
10) Having my ladybug rain boots in the car on Sunday during the photo shoot. Hooray!
Back now from my evening adventures and in a much better mood so let me add these and go to bed:
11) The uke class was fun and quirky. I look forward to more and am very thankful.
12) Taking a brisk 30 minute walk was all that it took to put my head on straighter tonight. I need to remember that. Yes, yes I do. SO thankful for the reminder though. It felt great to move fast and to get my heart rate up.
13) Adobe Lightroom is proving to be the bomb for photography organization and simple processing. Once I get the hang of it I think it will really rock things for me, but even with the steep learning curve, I'm loving it.
Here I am again. Prepared to prattle. Prepped to parse. Peppy and perky. Well, maybe not actually peppy and perky, but particularly pleased with the pepper in my paprikash and proud to partake of your pecan pieeeee. (And apparently terrifically fond of words that start with "P". *grin*)
I love alliteration. It trips happily off of my tongue and it makes me giggle. Tee-freaking-hee. I'm a little slap-happy today, can you tell?
Returned Sunday night from 4 magnificent days in Colorado with dear friends and am having a hard time with re-entry today. Feeling a bit overwhelmed and remembering why I like leaving town so much and why I have such a hard time returning to my work and to my life and that is leaving me with rather dismal feelings. I feel so unsettled everywhere in my life and I am really, really not enjoying this sensation.
The good news is that I do actually recognize that I have infinite possibility laid out before me and that I just have to figure out what route to take to move forward.
The bad news comes in the form of a joke two of my best friends made and modified about me some years ago. One said "How do you starve a Libra? Send her to an open refrigerator and tell her she can have anything that she wants." The other shortened it to "Hand her a menu." *wry grin* It wouldn't be so funny and so painful if it weren't true. Too many options with no direction leaves me feeling like a deer in the headlights. I end up feeling stuck. Trust me, I am very aware that the journey of a thousand miles started with one small step, but I'm never sure which way I should be facing, whether I've got the right shoes on, or where it is I'm trying to go. Which, thankfully, brings me right back around to thankfulness that I do have choices and that fact makes me incredibly blessed. :) Ahhh...circular thinking...how I love thee. Not. ;)
At any rate, I was recently reminded by examples beautifully set by Dominic, Rico and Laura, to write my gratitudes and so here I am. And y'know? They help before I even get to the part where I express my gratefulness. Heh. (At least I amuse myself, eh?)
January was a bumpy month. Illness, family illness, and general exhaustion from both. February, well...it seemed to follow suit...and quite frankly, I'm tired. I need to remember what I'm thankful for. I think I've lost sight of that again. Oy...re-upping the positivity quotient now...getting back into the habit. (Why is it so easy to fall into the habit of negative thought and so tough sometimes to stick with positive thought? Hmmmm....)
The other night Michael, Katie, Will and I decided that there should be a secret month added between February and March...we call it Extra-ruary. It has 45 days and can only be used for catching up on looming projects, sleep deficits, the up until the first of Extra-ruary to-do list, and all of those "I wish there were 28 hours in the day" sorts of things. Think it will catch on? I do. ;)
Without further prattling, today I sing my gratitudes for:
1) Spending a magnificent 4 days with Michelle & Tim and their wonderful daughters Annaliese and Chiara. So much ease, good laughter, giggling girls, fantastic camera geeking, playing "Flower" with Tim and turning 5 again, superb conversations, and just an all around wonderful time. I remembered what relaxing felt like. It felt good. Thank you all so much for being so wonderful as to have me in your lives for a few days. I love you all so very much!
2) Dominic, Rico and Laura for the reminder to do this.
3) Fantastic conversations with my beloved sister-in-law-and-spirit Heather. Thank you for being who you are and for everything that you're doing and for your beautiful ability to express yourself so clearly. I love you so!
4) Deep breathing. Today I am thankful for deep breathing. I think it may be the only thing that gets me through the day. Well...that and remembering gratitude. *wry smile*
5) Finding that I forgot to post this and getting to finish it now. :)
6) Ups and downs. They remind me that life is cyclical and that when I'm in a downswing, that I'm not there forever.
7) The faith that my friends have in me. I'm so blown away by and so thankful for this.
8) Time with Monique and Eileen. What a blessed evening!
9) Long walks and talks with Amy.
10) Getting an evening with Stephanie and Daphne! So easy and so good. Can't believe it had been so many years since I'd seen Daphne, because it was so easy to be with her!
12) The Isabelle Borchgrave and Arthur Szyk Exhibits at the Legion of Honor. What a revelation that whole day was! A lovely brunch and dinner with Deirdre, bumping into Karen & John, and the added bonus of amazing art and time with wonderful women. Such a gift!
Tanya Anguita is a photographer, writer, & performer who finds delight in the small details of life. She owns Frog Song Photography in Berkeley, California and posts to three blogs: