Friday, October 30, 2009

Untangling the web - with a little help from my friends

My tangled web of thoughts the past few days ~

It started with the essence of individuality..
as John O'Donohue in his book 'Beauty the invisible embrace', says of a friend of his
"Through the blurred awkward surface the beautiful radiance of his son's soul becomes briefly visible. This view always recalls him to a sense of the hidden eternal light of his child's life"

These were important words when I read them, words I can relate to, and also of the transluscent moment, perhaps when a child is born, when we are maybe granted a pure glimpse of a child's essence. I remember that from my two children as babies - the most beautiful painful and magical moment ever.

what pure magic, what a gift to be given, a glimpse of something that is so elusive.

A gift to hang onto in the darker moments, when the essence is hidden deep below layers of growth and development and uncertainty, as they grapple to find it themselves... and perhaps as a gift for us to reflect back at them when they appear to have lost sight of it.

There is nothing quite like someone reflecting back something you once knew but had forgotten, had lost sight of ~

those lessons we learn in our younger days, and promise ourselves we will never forget, but that instantly go out of our heads and fly far away when we are faced with the reality of a situation we need to use them in... you know the ones when it would really be so helpful if we could just remember them and put them into practice, because of course once upon a time we were going to be cool adults and yet when we reflect back at ourselves what we hear is nowhere near as cool as we'd have liked it to be...
I constantly fail on so many levels, and none more than the cool one!!

Lessons we need to be reminded of now and again, when we really do need to see it as someone else sees it.
When astute friends with clear vision really are a gift, and are there to gently guide us back onto the path, to untangle us from the weeds that have grown along the way.

Maybe, perhaps, even with the best will in the world, it is just us getting older.
Does the wisdom of years rob us of something special we once had?
I feel I am constantly learning from children of all ages.
Are the ideals of youth so foolish, (I don't think so) or is it just we fail to remember because priorities change through life?

Perhaps the web isn't quite as tangled as I'd thought... perhaps it's all about a bit of time travel and xray vision, and friends and love...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Joining the dots

"And as is often the case with faith, I thought I was being asked a favour, when in fact I was being given one"

words that made me stop and think, only a few pages into Mitch Albom's latest book "Have a little Faith", which was one of several gems I gathered at the airport on my way back from a conference this week.
The flycover says :
"It is one man's journey, but it is everyone's story."
I wonder if in essence that is why his books all leave an impression on me long after I have turned the final page. They speak to the universal in all of us.

It would seem that the reading bug has been rekindled of late, a healthy sign I am more than happy to embrace ~ there are far too many times when I can't / don't read and it acts almost like an internal barometer to gauge both internal and external stresses...

Sometimes in life it appears to me we spend our time connecting dots that are already there, sometimes it seems we are waiting for dots to appear, and sometimes we are actually creating dots ourselves.

And then there are times when the dots just don't seem to join up at all... but I believe they will in time, or else they are the bright shining ones that stand alone and serve mainly to illuminate some of the others.

There are so many things going on that I am pleased to have the half term to take the opportunity to kick back, regroup, revive and prepare for the next half, and all being well we can indulge things we can't during term time, follow our hearts and impulses even more than before.

To take time to reflect and see if some of the dots do in fact fit well together ~ I sense they do more than I thought - and that is exciting, like being given a glimpse of what is or maybe to come... hope and possibility that keeps us forging ahead.

and pondering the favours I have been given along the way, even if they didn't appear as such to start with..

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The power of Art..

This is incredible - and thanks to Shirley for bringing it to my attention... so powerful...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Smiling at synchronicity... when the phone rings at exactly the same time as I pick up my mobile to text...

and feeling that somehow the strings that connect our souls together are really made of elastic.. they stretch and stretch over oceans and continents, and yet they always bounce back to one another...

feeling lots of things, and learning, or trying to learn at least, from far braver, stronger, wiser and very humble humans, who achieve so much without seeming to see that they are... in very difficult circumstances

Thinking about letter writing...with ink and paper, for words to hold close to hearts and keep safe

wishing I could somehow stop the world and rewind, not to replay it again, but just in case I didn't take it in as much as I should or could have at the time - in case I missed a bit... in case I'm missing so much at the moment when I want to absorb it all, and please don't lets hurry the future too much...

wondering about the few words or a thoughtful action(s) that alter how someone sees something or feels about something, the effect we have, that sometimes we don't know until maybe years later, maybe never
and wondering about the connections we make almost unknowingly

and what it means when someone thinks to tell us .... incredible!

and contemplating this long and arduous road ~ even though we've left rough terrain behind, it's the deceptive gradual hill that requires constant energy... and free wheeling can seem a long way off
sometimes it is good to look back and acknowledge that we are not in the same place as we were..
it's easy to forget how far we have come, and only focus on how far we have to go...

perhaps we should reward ourselves more often than we do, if only to encourage ourselves to carry on...?

However, tonight I think rest beckons
and prayers as my children sleep - one here and one in France...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reality wake up calls

Life is very strange.. it is wonderful and mystical.. interconnected and entwined..with all kinds of wonderful humans all on their own journeys
and somehow they all add to our own journey.
It seems lots of things have been happening lately - there have been a larger number of young deaths than normal which have had an effect on my life - and also some wonderful new connections that have added extra sparkle and depth to my life in a very superficial and yet also very deep and incredibly secure way.. the very best way there can be...
another way of describing friends...they work on all kinds of levels depending on what you need from one another at any given time.

As another beautiful book (Tony Parson's "One for my baby") I am reading says..
"That is the way it starts. You look at someone you have never met before and you recognise them. That's all. You just recognise them. Then it begins."

beginnings and endings..

but along with any ending - if indeed that is what it is - on this planet anyhow..

there comes reflection and learning and sometimes maybe the reality wake up call that is very much needed about how we are living our lives.. about what is important
so many different strands of life existing alongside one another - and yet not always in harmony.
We need the fine tooth comb of life to separate them sometimes.

Tonight as I struggled with one aspect that has been bothering me lately I came across photos and reality from one life lost way too young, which brought me almost to my knees.. and with it a new perspective, a new reality.
Pain and happiness, sorrow and joy.. two sides of the same coin...
we can't really know one unless we have known the other I guess

somewhere there is a hand that guides, and sometimes I am sure these wake up calls are not nearly as random as they seem.. they are there to learn from and serve a very real purpose.. even if that is to keep hope alive and keep us keeping on.
In some way at the moment, that is comforting...

Monday, October 12, 2009

A rough diamond...

A book a friend lent me - not pretty, or beautiful, more harsh and shocking - I guess to a degree, although forewarned is forearmed, so I wasn't expecting anything less!
Real life for some people, an insight into the darker side of a life I have only ever guessed and sometimes patched up when they came my way through the doors of the accident department.

Based in Liverpool, this was written from Kelly's perspective towards the end of the book... in dialect ~

"We wanner stumble blindly and unthinkinly through ar days, strip them of authenticity an light an any real joy an it makes no fuckin sense, no fuckin sense. So fuckin terrified are we of death that we make arselves so ignoble an base an petty an vile an meaningless an shallow that when death finally comes for us, there's precious fuckin little for it to take. An in that way we think we've beaten it. But we haven't, an we don't; because we do nothing of worth, live in no fuckin glories whatsoever an when we're gone it's like we were never bleedin here. We've made no mark in the concrete to prove that we passed this way, that we existed. So we don't defeat death, an we never could; we defeat life. Turn it all colourless an tasteless, bland an insipid an bled dry. We settle for mediocrity an we're perfectly fuckin happy to do so, we can't even imagine anythin else, anythin more. Actions without consequence. Let others tell us what to do, do away with the enormity of thinkin for arselves"

"Can smell the sea now, the river. Salt in me nostrils.....why the fuck aren't we screaming? Standin with ar arms outstretched on the rooves of tall buildings... trying to do somethin, anything, to arrest the withering of ar hearts"

A cry that feels all too familiar from so many - a yearning for more than there is.. a freedom.
It took me back to people I knew and loved, who had nothing, who asked for very little, but who gave so very much...
and made me think about freedom
about how when all we have is time to give
and ourselves, perhaps we are closer to freedom than we think

and perhaps it is that, which is so very beautiful, that shines from them, and drew me close to them...

Ultimately it is what we yearn for, and search for.. and hold onto
life and living,

a rough diamond of a book that has left me thinking

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just yesterday a new small ball of fluff came into our lives. A new kitten. She is black and white and adorable - as long as you like cats I guess...

she is cute in a slightly imperfect way... she was the last to be chosen, has a mark by her eye and a big smudge under her chin. I like that.
She is full of life and energy, curious, vulnerable, needs caring for and is fiercely independent...she plays and she sleeps, and eats when she needs to refuel...and soaks up love and gives lots out in return

I brought her home - took her away from her Mum...she was scared, I tried to comfort her on the way home, she bit me.. when we got home, she cuddled into me and slept on my lap for over three hours..and I became her best friend - her only friend at that point.. I put her down, she cried, I picked her up again...

R junior came home from playing football with dirty muddy hands, and salty skin - she licked and licked and licked...and fell asleep in the palm of his hand.

We have journeyed a bumpy path since April (and before) and we lost Bramble right at the start of it suddenly and unexpectedly...which had a massive impact on the children.
It was mainly their choice to have another cat. I didn't know how long it would be, or if they would...
they listened to their feelings, and when they said they would really like one, a series of happy coincidences led us to both a new kitten and a new (human) friend.

Observing this change in our house is fascinating and warming.
It's a comforting feeling to have new life around again, but it is also wonderful to watch both children with her, and see them pour love and affection, nurture and care on her...
and to see how she responds and learns
how instinctive she is.. how playful and how in so many ways how she reacts is so similar to how people react.

My yoga teacher asked the other day whether we were kittens or monkeys.. monkeys cling on for dear life and kittens explore and flop out.. I'm not sure I got it 100% as I can think of many arguments against that - however, this kitten does have qualities I can identify with about how we adapt and interact with our environment

Just thoughts as our world evolves here :)
I do have pics but it's late and I must sleep... tomorrow :)