Archive for June, 2015

Every Wall is A Door

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Someone I love gave me a metal paperweight that says “Every wall is a door.” It sits front and center on my desk. I forgot to take my thyroid pill twice in the last few days and it upset my equilibrium. I almost feel as if I am having my period – emotionally speaking. I’ve ridden the wave up and I’ve ridden it down. I truthfully do not miss my menstrual cycle one iota. That is the beauty of getting older as a woman. I’ll take these wrinkles and the redistribution of fat any day over PMS and cramps. A N Y D A Y.

I have to take my computer in today because it is not backing up. The Time Machine can’t find its file. I realized while walking the dogs that I’ve backed up too much in my own personal computer – my mind. I’m overloaded by thoughts that don’t serve me, memories that derail me, desires that are unfulfilling, as well as a myriad of slights that cut like tiny razors. And I want my joy back.

I have a smile where the light comes out and right now, it needs to be pried open to see my sunny self. So if you see me today, I’m hiding behind a second layer of fact, the one that knows I will be all right, but is skeptical that it will be in a way you still recognize me.


Where you are supposed to be

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

A long time ago, someone gave me a quote and I have pulled it out and read it many times, and given it to those who I thought needed it, and preserved it for future reminders.


I was feeling boxed in recently. I felt suffocated by events out of my control. And I realized how convenient it is to fall into a pattern of belief and then I watched Obama’s eulogy of Senator Clementa Pinckney and listened to him say how the killer thought he would incite hatred but he did not know God had a different plan, instead of hate, there is grace.

And I remember the grace that is my life – the gift of being surrounded by people who love and support and lift me up. I recall that I have been down and lifted myself back up. I remembered I have thought that falling down was no good, only to learn the further I fell the more it moved me along my path.

I forget that when I am tired, I seek easy answers: Get a job with a company and do their bidding rather than bring my own work. I forget to be kind to a 56 year old woman who is raising a 6 year old boy. I forget to use all the tools that are always at my disposal – to take a walk in nature, to call a loved one, to read a good book, to simply write – in order to sit with my discomfort, not wallow in it.

It has been a week of grace. When I started working with the community on race relations, I envisioned tearing down Confederate statues on Jeff Davis, but I shrunk my vision to accommodate a more doable solution advocated by the group I was working with – and then overnight the country’s vision notched up and made my big dream conceivable. This week, my Facebook feed lit up with colors of the rainbow – the Supreme Court proved capable of interpreting the law of this country for the people by the people and they did so by making gay marriage legal. Obamacare – health care for everyone – won the day. I’ve watched our President lose his fear, his need to placate every faction, and rise up to be the man we all knew him capable of being.

From the personal to the universal, this has been a week of low and high, of grit and grace, and it has ended on a high note. I was blind but now I see. Hallelujah!

Sending Love Letters to Myself

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

I spent a year and a half in community with a group and in the end had to leave when someone in that group committed a crime against my family. The celebration of what that group accomplished just took place in public, on stage, this past Wednesday. I was not there. Nor was I even in the photographs listed. And my speaking part was dropped from the 10 minute video.

I have spent the last three years doing legacy work that no longer addresses any of my core needs or desires; not even the compensation comes close to being sufficient for my much reduced lifestyle.

I applied, submitted, proposed alternative situations for employment and one by one the doors have closed.

I mailed in my book proposal to a literary agent who ought to be interested in my book. I have not heard one word.

My head has stopped spinning with all the question marks that have danced around inside it and instead has settled on fighting to be in the moment.

Sty called me today from Destin – he had 15 gigs lined up and wound up in the clinic with a blocked artery yesterday and the possibility of surgery looming. He told me he has to start taking nitroglycerin. I called him back right afterwards and told him that those Chinese herbs he is so fond of taking that mimic Viagra are dangerous with nitroglycerin and not to take them. There was silence on the other end of the line. Then a mere “okay.”

Flower called to check in this evening – she was greeted by the voice of doom. She said my situation reminded her of when I was trying to adopt a child in 2008 and 2009 and I went through dark days of grief and finally gave up. That’s when Tin arrived. She said maybe it is the darkest now because it is about to get lighter.

Ahhh, the old Russian proverbs Flower can deliver on a moment’s notice. My father used to say something similar – it’s always the darkest before the sun comes up.

I was trying to think of notes to write about why I am grateful so I could put something in my gratitude jar that has not been opened for three weeks. I was having a very hard time. So I wrote this letter to myself:

Dear Rachel:

I love you. I love you when you’re strong and I love you equally when you are not. I love you when take care of yourself and I love you when you generously take care of others, even those who have trespassed against you. I love you when you succeed and I love you when you fail. I love you when you win and even when you lose. Sometimes, I love you more when you lose. I love you no matter what the reason because every day in every way you are you – uniquely, unequivocally, and confidently you.

Keep your heart open honey, the best is yet to come.

Love, Rachel


The Consolation of Anger

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

A book arrived today from my friend in Boston, a mix of words and their meanings fully wrought. I was reading it mindlessly today, waiting on Tin to finish swimming, when I got to the third word – ANGER.

ANGER is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt. Stripped of physical imprisonment and violent reaction, anger is the purest form of care, the internal living flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for. What we usually call anger is only what is left of its essence when we are overwhelmed by its accompanying vulnerability, when it reaches the lost surface of our mind or our body’s incapacity to hold it, or when it touches the limits of our understanding. What we name as anger is actually only the incoherent physical incapacity to sustain this deep form of care in our outer daily life; the unwillingness to be large enough and generous enough to hold what we love helplessly in our bodies or our mind with the clarity and breadth of our whole being.

I go to sleep each night looking out the window at the stars that I see in the night’s sky, and I wake in the morning to the palm tree I see towering out of my neighbor’s yard. I keep waiting for the anger to disappear, and instead I find it is a fluid type of emotion, an anger that boils when I think of what can’t be undone, an ANGER that roils when I hold it in my heart encased in a plastic bubble.

Yet, as much as I like to hold it close to my bosom, I know my day’s work has only just begun when I open my eyes, because my task once again is to open my heart.


The road is long, with many a winding turn

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

Yesterday morning, I got up early and went for a run with Stella and then hopped in my truck that has part of the suspension work done and headed to Ponchatoula to a full-day meditation retreat. As usual, I got lost on the way; then when I realized only ten miles later, I started to backtrack and was making a U-turn on a country road and ran right down into a ditch only a mile from the retreat.


Some call this practice. The same thing happened when I went last year to Flowering Lotus for a weekend retreat in Mississippi, coming out of the weekend long event, I was ticketed by a police officer for parking in the wrong place – $150 ticket – the owner of the retreat came running down the road to speak to him but he said the best I could do was talk to the courthouse on Monday morning. I’m not sure why restorative times are often coupled with chaos, but they seem to move hand in hand in my world.

My friends are going to Nantucket this year without me – a big boo hoo. Flower sent me a bar of Nantucket soap from Crabtree & Evelyn to make up for the loss. When I told one of my Nantucket friends, I said I don’t think I could bathe alone with the soap because it wouldn’t be reminiscent of having her knock on the door or sit on the side of the tub or pee while I was bathing. We had a good laugh. One of the gals sent me this photo which was taken possibly the first year I was there – that would have been 2006 (notice all the empty wine bottles in back of me).


Here I am with hair, thinner around the mid section, and having just had most of my world fall apart. Interesting that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men never put this Humpty Dumpty gal back together again.

I think we all have a place of wholeness or a perceived time when our center held, but mine is getting further and further from that specific time and now I wonder if it was just an illusion?

I came home from the day long retreat more confused than when I went. Sty called and said that he has 15 gigs this next month and things are going swimmingly for him in Destin except he would like me there with him. I’m not moving or moved. I went last night to my friend’s birthday party and house christening and played DJ for her – we tripped the light fantastic dancing to Lamar Kendrick and Nicole Jackson, and I came home way too late, and got up way too early.

I woke with a barrage of questions spilling out of my head, heart and soul that have no real answers.

And all I could think is this is all leading who knows where?

I’ve alighted on the fact that the blessing is not knowing, just receiving:

i thank You God for most this amazing
by E. E. Cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

4 Leaf Clover

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

I walked passed a field of clovers today and saw a four leaf clover, no wait, I saw five four leaf clovers, and so I picked them. Stared at them in the sunlight to make sure what I was seeing was correct – compared them to the three leaf clovers that were the clear majority in the field.

I saw a friend getting his child out of the car for school and gave him one, and then I brought the other four inside and taped them to my office door.

1) a client called to finally say he is signed up and paying
2) a position I applied for called to set up a phone interview
3) the car repair shop said the $1400 worth of repairs I thought the truck needed might not be that bad

So I’m waiting on the 4th good luck event to happen today. Who knows what it will be?

More will be revealed.

Destroying my Credentials

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

I went to see Ellen today and told her that my faith has been rocked. She asked me, from a philosophical standpoint, what is faith?

My faith is not my religion, my faith has been my confidence in myself, that I had walked through the valley of various hells and could withstand anything that life threw at me no matter what presented itself.

That’s what was shaken. That faith. If my life was put on camera, just as you would watch a movie you see that when the hero is threatened, she doesn’t budge, but when the hero’s loved one is taken and threatened, or worse, hurt, then the hero goes ballistic and loses all discernible patterns of herself in the process. That’s what makes for great cinema – life erupting right before your eyes.

I came home after seeing Ellen and listened to a sermon from Romemu where Rabbi Ingber quotes Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s thoughts on healing and the Lion’s roar:

When you begin to experience the process of going towards emotions, rather than emotions coming towards you, then you begin to make a journey.

~ Rinpoche

The lion’s roar was what was behind me, the eruption of tremendous energy and the disruption of me and us emotionally, and I have wanted to run from it, but days in, I realized that I have to stand and face it. I have to summon the courage to face the lion’s roar head on. And there lies my enlightenment.

Every mother wants to protect her child. In the biblical story of King Solomon, he proves his mettle when the first to approach him in court are two mothers claiming the same baby. He tells the guard to put a sword to the baby, when the tip is piercing the infant’s skin, one mother leaps forward and screams, “No, she can have him, just don’t hurt him.” King Solomon declares her the mother.

No matter how many times I revisit what might have been, I turn to what is – we have looked into the lion’s eyes, he roared, the roar shook us to our core, and we are still standing.

Alchemy Happens

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

A colleague of mine sent me this a few months ago:

The time for healing of the wounds has come.
The time to build is upon us…
We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people
from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation,
suffering, gender and other discrimination…
There is no easy road to freedom…
None of us acting alone can achieve success.
We must therefore act together as a united people,
for reconciliation, for nation building,
for the birth of a new world.
—Nelson Mandela

I was reminded of it today as a friend sent me the gift of a healing energy session with a woman in California. We worked through some stuff today, yes indeed, we did. We shuffled energy around, severed ties, and I began to walk the path of forgiveness. I forgive myself and I forgive the mother fucking asshole who hurt my son. Yes, I can’t say it any other way right now, but I said that, which is huge. The woman who did the work with me had suffered as a young child and she grew up to become a person who wanted to help hurt people heal.

Alchemy happens.

The week has been long, last week was even longer, and eventually we will go back to time flying by like a high speed locomotive. Some things keep getting re-affirmed. When I met my child, I saw the world in him, and his capacity to grow up powerful and strong. I saw the quality that one sees in a future leader, in someone that might heal the world. I am constantly getting confirmation of this potential in him.

As for me, I still have paces to go to get to the sort of strength he exhibits on a daily basis. I am, as my ex said, too generous and too trusting. That trust has been shaken to the core, in the very things that I put my love and energy, I was given back equal doses of pain. And now I need to sort all this out in my head. I long to get back to my gratitude jar, to close my eyes at night in faith that I will have sweet dreams, to wake up with hope that I am on the right path.

I’m a spiritual warrior and I’ve seen battle before, but I needed a lot of comrades to rise above this one. Gifts of healing have come to me, the extraordinary blessing of friendship has sustained me, and every day I gather my strength to get back to my vortex of love.

This guy, this one right here, he’s got it all going on – he’s my super hero:

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me At All

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me At All
~ Maya Angelou

Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don’t frighten me at all

Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn’t frighten me at all.

I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won’t cry
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don’t frighten me at all.

That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don’t frighten me at all.

Don’t show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I’m afraid at all
It’s only in my dreams.

I’ve got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

The healing power of water

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

I do miss living on the bayou and waking every morning to the lovely light that only water seems to do justice to no matter if it is dawn or the gloaming or even pitch black out. My world the past week is loaded with advice by well meaning friends, do this, do that, but a friend kept insisting that we needed to be in water. So when Tin got out of school yesterday I drove him an hour and a half to Gulfport to dip our toes in the salt water for some good old fashioned healing.

Miracle of miracles, last night I slept all the way through for the first time in over a week.


When you think of the way large bodies of water provide a calming effect on us, it is silly how we don’t seek these powers out more frequently. We’ll go back to the beach soon, very soon.