Sunday, March 11, 2012

Walking Gardens

I was thinking on my life, on the turns it has taken.

On the way it looked only 5 years ago and the way it looks now.


On the way God works in mysterious and miraculous ways.

And how once the mists of mystery burn away, the delight that comes when we See where we have been brought.


5 years ago I was in medical school. A dream to bring hope and light to faraway places I had been told had too little of that.


My life consisted of black and white text

the sterile whiteness of laboratories and hospitals,

much collaboration and little connection

I lived in the realm of the Mind.


The Heart beat softly and patiently in the shadows

When I was a young girl in school

I would write poetry to the tune of chalk on black board

Come home and run fingers over ivory, the breath of harmony filling me

I would stand in front of audiences with friends, laugh and speak in strange timbres as we played life on stage


And then I decided that was all child’s play and I put it away in its proper drawers and I went on to more adult things

Until one day, a soul came to me, asking me to help pave a way for her into this world


Asking me to show her what is beautiful


Asking me to show her what is important


Asking me to show her what is Right and Good


And I looked around at all the black words and white walls

And it flashed dull


I heard the faintest beating of a long forgotten friend

And this was the beginning of my Breaking


And now, I find myself surrounded by gardens and flowers and trees budding Spring


And I see how these little flowers so fragile


can only bend so much


And I think of myself

Because although I do like to think myself strong


The truth is my spirit is like these flowers

Growing underneath the shade of Strong Oak


Their perfume lost

If sniffed too hard


I offer my thanks to those who will do those big things in the world, travel to far off places to Make Right


But this is not how I was made

I was made for poetry and music and dancing


I was made Mother to share it


I was made delicately and carefully


Fantastically and Uniquely

and I will Honor my Creator by Honoring

Their Creation.


I will walk among these gardens

And give thanks for the strong trunks

And the whisper of petals


Friday, March 2, 2012

A Pair of Pants and Redemption


I was cleaning today.

And Sterling came in and poured himself a very full glass of water. 

And then spilled it all over the floor.

I felt frustrated, like messes were happening faster than I could clean them.  I felt resentment well up inside me at the thought that I was responsible for cleaning everyone’s messes. 

And then a  thought came. 

Perhaps this is not my mess to own. 

I guided Sterling to a towel and then to the mess where he happily wiped the water clean. 

And the floor shone. 

Newly washed.

And I realized it at that moment –

what a  mess is

A part of the journey

And it is the process of making clean, re-righting,


that is as important as the exploring and creating that made the  mess,

as important as the awareness of the mess.

We must own each part.

If in the creating we feel our mastery, it is in the mess we feel our vulnerability, our imperfection.  In this ordinary kitchen of mine, looking at water spilled across the floor, feeling the tiredness of another mess, and then seeing little hands re-new that linoleum, I see the entire mythology of our human journey unfolding. 

Paradise, The Fall, Redemption.

We could turn away from our imperfection, we could refuse to see it because it feels too painful, makes us feel too open, too vulnerable.

Or we could drown in the mess, in our inability to achieve Goodness.  We could wear our dirt as a badge of inadequacy and fallibility. We could construct a garment of unworthiness and never again gaze at the stars and dream…

But then we will never reap what we have sown, and there are so many gifts in the harvest. 

I have been learning a new skill.  Yesterday, I was sure I was going to master sewing this pair of pants.  I had made all the mistakes, learned all the parts.  This was going to finally work easily, smoothly, masterfully.  A garment of worthiness for a very worthy little soul. 

And it didn’t.  Another mistake.  A different one that I had not even been able to foresee.  It seemed to manifest out of the blue.  And I felt crushed.  All that time, all that effort, all that fabric.  For nothing.  I threw the little pair of pants into the basket and vowed I was done. 

I would leave it. 

A little pair of pants with roots deep in the river of human experience, a touchstone into the shadows of  failure,


Begging me to see this moment for what it was,

a question…

When we Fall, what do we do?

Those pants, having been thrown angrily aside just moments before, started to take a different form.  I began to see all the beautiful seams and the intentions and love that went into that little pair of pants made my a mother’s hands and heart. 

And I could not just throw that away. 

They could be redeemed. 

I could be redeemed.

From this place of imperfection, utter vulnerability at the realization of the magnitude of imperfection,

from this place of giving up

New Hope was born.

If in the mess we are broken, it is in the cleaning we are remade.

So I cut

And I sewed

I began to wipe clean.

And I watched as new pants were made.


A new me made.