Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Not So Complicated

Yesterday I was cranky, even by my base-line standard--which, I hate to admit, I usually reserve for those closest to me.

The night before last, the neighbours’ dude-bro guests woke me at 4:30 a.m. with a loud, drunken outdoor conversation and refused to quiet down when asked. A week sharing our small house with our own three guests had left me feeling cramped and unheard by my partner over a petty domestic disagreement. When we finally had the place to ourselves last night, we bickered over how to make the potato salad (for fuck’s sake), then over what to watch on TV later in the evening.

I woke up late this morning to make up for the dude-bros, dozed some more, finally rolled out of bed, and went to the front door to let the cat in from her morning excursion. Jonathan sat just inside at the dinner table, absorbed in e-mail.
“It’s a gorgeous morning,” I said as I walked out onto the front stoop. “And here’s a gorgeous man sitting at the table. Wearing gorgeous glasses. And a gorgeous matching blue sweatshirt.”
I’d thrown the words off lightly, playfully, without any especially deep feeling. Not expecting them necessarily to land.

But they did. Jonathan's face lit up, as it hadn't in days, with the pleasure of being seen and appreciated. That's all it took. Seeing him being seen, I felt seen in return. Yesterday's strains dropped away, and there we were in the moment, together, living on this earth.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Homage in High Summer

It began its life as a tree rooted in our Mother the earth. It has passed through fire. It's rooted in the earth once again. It rises into air. It's washed by the rains. By a thousand daily transformations, it gradually passes back into the earth once more. A sign of life's longing for itself; a reminder of our mortality.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Waiting on the Perseids

This last Saturday night, I was standing next to a bonfire with a band of brothers at StoneSong Retreat Centre in western Maryland, on the final evening of four sweet days of intentional community. My heart was full. The hearts of many of us were overflowing. After a spectacular afternoon thunderstorm that left most of us happily drenched, the sky had cleared, the stars were out. Our time around the fire was punctuated with one or another of us calling out, “There’s one!”
It was one of the peak nights of the Perseid meteor shower. The best viewing would have been just before dawn Saturday, but even if any of us had gotten up that early, there’d been cloud cover all through Friday night and most of the day leading up to the rain.
But you don’t get to order shooting stars on demand. You can’t control the conditions under which you wait for them. You can make yourself available. And that’s about it. Even when the conditions are right, you just have to let go and accept that wherever you focus your attention, you're probably watching the wrong bit of sky. You’re most likely to glimpse the streak of light only out of the corner of your eye. You may have companions to bear witness that they’ve seen it, too. Or you may have to trust, after that brief flash, that it really was there, if only for you.
What you can do is decide that the shooting star is worth waiting for, being idle for. You learn to separate hope and faith from expectation. The more often you’ve seen one, the stronger your inclination becomes to wait patiently for the next.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017