THE SPACE BETWEEN ANSWERS

REVERB 2015 – waiting for 2016 – from Kat McNally:

Today, I invite you to think about the great unknowns in your life right now. Say to yourself this morning: “I am open to the answers finding me”. Then stay alert with as many senses as you can.

In what form did the answers find you?

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IMG_2036I have been trying or not trying so hard to write on the above prompt for quite a few days now.  I am sad at the ending of things. I am not good with new beginnings or farewells. Our host, Kat McNally is saying goodbye to Reverb and her blog.  Then Christmas Eve, our neighbours had a house fire.  They lost their 2 little dogs to smoke inhalation.  My dog and I still look for them when we leave the house.  Where are those little rascals?  Loss takes time.  It’s not bad to feel it.  It is natural.  Now I have to move on – with the rhythm of life and my words.

IMG_2097The older I get the less I know, the more confused I am on how to be. That is very, very true.  The good thing is that I am getting more comfortable with this unknowing in life.  I am able to sit back and sink into that messiness of I don’t know where the hell I am going or what to do.  I’m okay with sitting in between answers.  Why kill myself in digging at the root of things? Sometimes there are no answers.  I am deliberately choosing to do something different.

IMG_3895In the meantime there is nothing to do, no place to go, no wants, no striving, no worries. I can sit here with the Mister and Sheba –  feet up, living in the moment, watching our breaths going in and out.  All is copacetic.

 

 

ON TRANSFORMATION

I had given up espousing on Reverb15 for awhile.  I took it as a sign when I stopped getting Kat’s emails.  I needed a rest anyways.  But after a couple of days, the emails came back.  It was another sign.  So here I am again…Today’s prompt from Lisa Sadikman.  She writes:

You wake up and the light through the window seems different, the air carries a chill or maybe a hint of warmer days.

What has changed? You? The world?

It can be a change that happened this past year or one you’re looking toward in the time ahead. It can be a broad sweep obvious to all or a more subtle shift that only you know about.

Tell us about transformation. 

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December 13th.  The mornings are oh so dark in the northern hemisphere at 7.  The house cold before the thermostat was turned up.  I had to turn the lights on to read Margaret Atwood with my tea before breakfast.  After, I stood to stretch and to do my qigong routine as on most mornings.  Darkness had receded somewhat and I could see out the windows.

IMG_3783I saw the spruce trees and wondered how they grew so big.  I remembered planting them with my mother when I moved into the house. They were mere saplings then.  Now, they towered above the garage, way up high in the sky.  How immense!  How impressive!  Just as life is.  Those thoughts came to me out of the blue – like text messages from Instagram, lighting up my iPhone.

I look at the spruce trees now and again throughout the day.  They form a canopy over the two buddhas below. One is in serious contemplation, while the other laughs at it all – darkness and light, the yin and the yang, all of life’s catastrophes and comedies.

These things, ideas, realizations come at me like ping backs, whatever they are. I’ve been called eccentric/weird before – for reading ‘weird’ books, for buttering my toast with avocados, for being just me.  I would not be insulted if you find me weird now.  What else would you call someone that has things coming telepathically?

When I see the spruce branches quiver in the wind, I’m reminded again of their enormous size, their grandeur.  I’ve grown them in my lifetime.  Isn’t that amazing?  Isn’t life amazing?  Isn’t it amazing how you can change how you see things in an instant, in a blink of an eye?  I am so happy that I am ‘weird’.

THE VERDICT

It’s day 7 of Kat McNally’s Reverb15.  Today’s prompt is:

In her seminal book Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott offers the observation: “The evidence is in, and you are the verdict.”

Regardless of where you live in this crazy beautiful world, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s been a BIG year.

Today, I want to acknowledge that you are here and I am here and we are here.

We’re just… HERE.

That feels like a BIG DEAL.

And, that being said, I invite you to reflect on all that this evinces. What are you the verdict of?

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IMG_5420So we’re all HERE, you and I.  It is a big deal.  I am a big deal.  Funny – I’ve never felt that before.  It’s a turning point, this awareness.  I’ve always been in the shadow of someone else bigger and better than myself.  I’m along like the ugly mean sister, homely friend, a brown sparrow companion to boost someone else’s ego.  Those are stories I tell myself.

Well, guess what?  I no longer want to be any of that!  I want to tell myself different stories. I want to bust out my cocoon and morph into this beautiful butterfly that I really am.  It has taken me this long to wake up. I am the witness and the verdict of this stage in life. I can be a big deal.  Never say never.  Never say it’s impossible.  Never say you can’t change.  Never say miracles can’t happen.  Things can ALWAYS happen.  Treasure this life.  It’s fragile and beautiful.

IMG_1628I am a great admirer of Anne Lamott.  Bird by Bird has great instructions on writing and life. I’m heeding her advice of writing/living in a one-inch picture frame, within the range of how far I can see in a car’s headlights driving at night.  I’m guessing that means be in the present moment.  I am living and writing in the light though I’m surrounded by darkness.  I am writing myself out of the darkness.

ANCESTRAL HEALING

Day 6

From Kat McNally:

Reverb15 Day 6: ancestral healing (a special guest post from Cindy Mearns)

Today’s prompt and image come from Cindy Mearns. In the new year, Cindy will be helping me to map out my ancestry… and shine light on the gifts and wounds I carry and transmit through the next generation. I am thrilled to be sharing Cindy’s considerable gifts with the Reverb15 community.

Cindy writes:

As each year progresses, we unknowingly gather many thoughts, beliefs, and patterns to us. In fact, what we are carrying may have been passed down to us from previous generations.

Looking at the thoughts and patterns that may be holding you back from living the life you want, trace back through the generations of your family and see if your beliefs originated generations ago.

In 2016, how can you bring healing to these patterns of thought that are holding you back?

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IMG_3339I hold my maternal grandparents in the highest esteem.  Everything that I am, have been comes from them through their DNA, through the stories my mother tells me.  I feel them in my very marrow.  That is not to say, I don’t feel my paternal heritage.  I just don’t feel them as strong.  My father have never told me any stories.

My grandfather was a man of letters, a stern schoolmaster.  He was revered, respected and loved as well.  He passed on the magic of words to me.  I love the power and beauty of them, how you can paint pictures and stir up emotions with them.  They have the ability to hurt and heal.  I have been hurt by other people’s words, but I have saved my life with mine.  I am careful with my words.  I respect what they can do.

My grandmother was a very courageous woman.  She survived Mao Tse Tung’s regime. Many things are done in the name of/for the cause when a country is in a revolution as China was.  My grandparents were victims of such.  My grandfather escaped with his life but in his place my grandmother was jailed.  Her strength and faith enabled her to live. She believed that the heavens would save her and they did.  She gave me her mettle.

I feel their blood and spirits in me.  I feel them as I am sitting here, tap, tapping out my words.  The Chinese worship their ancestors.  We walk their mountains every year. It is called such because traditionally graves were in the mountains.  We take food, burn incense and paper money, bow and pour libation for them.  To you, my grandparents. Rest in heavenly peace and look down/after me once in awhile.

SELFIE

It is Day 5 of Kat McNally’s Reverb15.  The prompt is:

Go on, show us your selfie! You know you want to.

If you’ve been a part of Reverb before, you know that this is the bit where I invite you to share your favourite photo of yourself from the year (selfie or otherwise).

For bonus points, give us a montage of the photos you have shared during each Reverb you’ve participated in. (Throwback Thursdays #tbt are also welcome!)

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IMG_1715The truth is I really DON’T want to share my selfie these days.  It is not as if I’m 20, 30 or even 40.  I won’t go any further.  What I’m saying is I am no long young or slim.  Show up and be humiliated?  No thank you. I rather hide in the shadows and glory in yesterdays – when I WAS young and beautiful.

Let me indulge a little in nostalgia.  Let me glory in yesterday, when I was young.  I did not know I was beautiful then.  But at least I am seeing and loving her now.  It’s never too late.

 

REPLENISHING

It’s day 4 of Reverb15.  Today’s prompt and image come from Kathleen Jowitt.  She writes:

As the year ends, and we look back at the joys, achievements and disappointments of the past twelve months, it’s worth taking some time to recognise what our efforts have demanded of us and where our resources have been depleted.

Whether you have spent 2015 bringing some long-cherished project to fruition or simply trying to keep your head above water, it’s likely that this has come at some cost to you.

How can you replenish your (physical, mental, spiritual and/or emotional) resources? What do you need most of all at this moment?

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I am sure many of us arrived in December feeling the weight of the past year heavy on our shoulders.  I know I have.  It is wonderful that I have this revue, Kat McNally’s Reverb, to unload that weight.  Musing and words have always been my way of breathing in and out.  I am breathing in and out as I tap, tap out my thoughts.  I am relaxing and talking to myself.  My words and thoughts are all about myself, so no worries.  I am laying no blames, giving no excuses.  Nothing personal, OK?

2015 was one hell of a struggle, treading and treading, trying to keep my head above water. I had a project or two.  The biggest one was trying to ‘fix’ myself.  I wasn’t good enough, kind enough, generous enough, ***enough.  Enough!  Right?  Why is it that I/we feel this way?  I am sure I am not alone in this.

I failed fixing myself.  Instead I ended up harming myself more. I discovered that I did not need ‘fixing’.  Coming through the trauma of unravelling, I saw what I need was to love myself – MORE.

I am doing that – learning to love myself slowly and steadily.  New habits are difficult to learn, even loving oneself.  So I take it easy with the ‘musts’, ‘should’ and ‘have to’. I splurge a little on feeling good – nice sheets, dark chocolate, books…  No going overboard on anything.  I swim and have dates with myself. I tell myself what I like about myself.  I try to change what I don’t like.  I am luxuriating in the kindness to myself.  I have to stop writing and let that feeling sink in.

 

LADY LUNA

It is Day 3 of Kat McNally’s Reverb.  The prompt:  Lady Luna.
When was the last time you stopped to look up at the moon?

What did she have to say to you?

Living in the city, I seldom stop to look up at the moon.  My mind is so preoccupied with thoughts coming at me in continuous live-stream.  It is as if there is no sky and I’ve forgotten how to look up.  There is no need.  There’s street lights.  Why would I look up? Talk about being unconscious!

blood moonHowever, because of social media, I was alerted to the full blood moon in September and witnessed it in all its glory.  She did not really speak to me that night.  I was too busy trying to capture the image on camera.  Too busy trying not to miss the event.  I lost the magic of the moon that night.

IMG_3014I do remember another night of waiting for the moon in August at the lake.  We were sitting around the campfire with neighbours.  The air was cool.  The night dark.  I wrapped the blanket around me and looked up into the sky.  Oh, how vast and deep it was!  The stars twinkled and winked.  The moon had not yet appeared.  But I felt the Universe wrap its arms around me.  They were so warm and comforting.  The fire crackled and flickered. There was no need for human speech.  We all understood one another.  We were with each another.

It got late and we could not wait for the moon.  We walked home as it was not far.  Our neighbours lit our path with headlights from their vehicle.  It was as if we were guided by moonbeams.  Thank you Lady Luna.  Till next time.

SURPRISES

Reverb BB

It’s day 2 of Kat McNally’s Reverb.  The prompt today is:

What surprised you this year?  

What a loaded question!  Everything surprised me this year.  It was as if I had landed from outer space and Earth was foreign terrain.  It was no longer the friendly place I once knew.  I started unravelling like an old worn sweater at the strangeness of it all.  The unravelling sped up as the days passed – like the end roll of toilet paper.  Finally I was limp and helpless like a puddle on the bathroom floor.

Being helpless, I gave up fighting this strangeness.  When there was no more struggle, no more sparring in the dark, I was surprised by my own strength and resources.  Somehow I was able to pick up the stitches and knit myself back together.

It was not an overnight job.  I sat through a month of instructions, listening every day to a new instructor.  It was a most pleasant October as I spent each morning sipping tea with Melli of the Mindfulness Summit and learning what it is to be in the present moment, accepting what is.

It was a hard lesson and difficult knitting.  No double I will forget and unravel again.  But then that is how life is, isn’t it?  Ups and downs.  Flux and flow.  All of life’s surprises, big and small.  Have no worry for me.  I am a muse and as muses go, sometimes I tend to be melancholy in my words.   But I am ever a hopeful muse.  As I end may I say a prayer for us.

May you find peace.  May you find joy.  May you find strength to carry you.  May you find the gift in surprises that bring tears or joy.  And may God be with you always.