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dig dug

He dug deeper.

He really didn’t know why, but felt a need to dig into the rich soil. He had a question about what made up the ground. He stared at the surface for a long time. He thought if he understood everything from the outside, the inside would also be clear. He admired the outside, and showed it to everyone else. He garnished praise and applause. He thought that made it more valuable. The surface was very well defined. It had absolutes and margins. It was clear what was and what wasn’t. There was no gray.dig

He dug deeper.

He asked the question, “What is under the surface?” The answer seemed obvious, but he hadnt thought of it. “Dig deeper and find out.” There was a sense of foreboding. Trepidation filled the air. Anticipation. He dug. He used his fingers and scratched the surface. There were no more answers, just more questions. The tiny crack was a window beyond and ,in it, he saw the much larger world. Fear and longing. He couldn’t ever be the guy who didn’t know there was more through that window. He was afraid and consigned. He dug around the crack. He climbed through into the vastness of the deeper world. The edges seemed to blur. There were hints of grays. The questions lined up. He tried to relate to them as he had on the other side of the crack. It failed and the answers laughed at him. The questions taunted him. He learned to handle some ambiguity. He learned he couldn’t learn it all. He became more open to less absolute.

He dug deeper.digging

He opened another crack, crawled through another window. The answers were more ambiguous. The margins less defined. He kept digging and the more he dug, the less the answers were clear. The questions mounted and became overwhelming. He felt lost and lonely. He screamed and cried. The pain was excruciating. He crumbled in uncertainty. He cried out, “What is the answer?”

There was a whisper, a wind, a sound. It spoke in breathy absence. There is no “the” answer. The answer you seek doesn’t exist. As you dig deeper into the foundation of yourself, of your world, it grows in wonder and amazement, but also in ambiguity and margin-less freedom. You are free to ask and answer and question again. The answers are accepting the lack of “the” answer.

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Posted by on June 23, 2015 in journey, life

 

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click three times….

I am the scarecrow.scarecrow2 I walk funny and have very little fashion sense. I also really want to be smarter. I keep getting myself into hurtful situations by not thinking it out. My dad used to say that I was thinking, just with the wrong head. My life in BD (before Dorothy) was not very exciting. I fumbled along looking for a purpose. I analyzed myself and could tell you all my shortcomings and faults. As I wondered around aimlessly, a smart and wholesome woman suggested I would like to be of service in the fields. She described how it would make me a good Christian to protect the food source and be of service. She suggested it was my calling and I could do it for a lifetime. I hoisted myself on the cross and hung there. I beamed at her and she at me. I had found love and a purpose at the same time. The woman grew to resent me. She wanted to control and for me to be in control. She didn’t like taking care of me. I grew to resent the woman. I tried to wiggle out of the victim role, but didn’t know how. I just hung around. The woman left and I stayed on the cross, lamenting. Dorothy came along and invited me to share in the journey. She wasn’t going to do it for me, and made no promises. I fell off the cross and learned to walk all over again, resuming the stumbling journey. I wanted a brain.

I am the tin man.tin-man I have been frozen in time by my ill timed tears. I have felt hollow and empty. I have longed for love and to be loved. I have felt like my heart was taken and destroyed. I have lived a life pretending to feel. I faked not having pain or despair. I have run away in fear from love because I was worried I had nothing to give in return. Dorothy came along and suggested a voyage to my heart. They would love me until I could love myself and then I could love someone else.

I am the lion.The-Wizard-Of-Oz-Cowardly-Lion I put on a brave front. I was a bully and fierce protector. I humiliated others and used my false bravado to intimidate. Inside I quivered. Inside I fled. Inside I screamed. I was afraid of life. I was afraid of risk. I was afraid that if anyone could see my insides, they would reject me. I set out to prove them right and rejected them or made them reject me. I was cowardly. I couldn’t state my needs or wants for fear I didn’t deserve to have them. Dorothy came and rejected only the exterior. She denied the bravado and slapped my nose. She loved my interior. She acknowledged the good in failing and getting up again. She encouraged journey, rather than destination.

I am Toto. Clueless and yappy. I offered little to the story but comedy relief. I existed and wondered, but didn’t really live. Dorothy didn’t help me at all, I got nothing from the Wizard. I didn’t change or adapt to any situation. I refused to grow, and just kept wandering, pointing out the flaws in everyone else’s story of magic.

But of course, Dorothy and the Wiz didn’t really give me anything I didn’t have. I had the brains to know how to survive in a loveless marriage, and the brains to get back on the path when that fell apart. I had the love to love again. I hurt not because I have no heart, but because mine works. I didn’t need a new heart, just to heal my own. I had courage. The courage to protect myself the only way I knew how, and when shown a different way, the courage to change. I had the courage to arise once again. I am not clueless or a clanging cymbal. I have experience, strength, and hope. I also have boundaries. I wont believe something or follow something just because everyone else is. I insist on reality and honesty. I desire relationship with authenticity.

and then I clicked the third time…

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2015 in journey, life

 

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be your own Alice

Ever feel like Alice in Wonderland?

I was hanging out in the shade of my life tree a few years ago. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. I wasn’t particularly growing, learning or progressing. I was just there. As I considered my circumstances, my consciousness slipped out. It wore a wonderful little suit and carried a pocket watch. It looked much like the rabbit. In my thoughts, I knew that a life without growth and change wasn’t really a life at all. I wasn’t living, I was existing. The Rabbit knew that I would get bad sores, or rather ground sores hanging out by the tree. He felt the pressure of time and the need to spring to life. As he ranted about time, and then scurried down the rabbit hole, I paused…

I didn’t know how to stand up anymore. I had let life flow by and let the tree tell me what I felt and thought for so long, I had no idea how to be myself. I didn’t know how my brain, heart, and muscles worked anymore. I had been deadened and mostly embalmed so slowly, I had hardly recognized it. I was startled. I was even more startled when my brain, heart, and muscles united in a burst of strength. I stood up. I was hurky jerky at first and made mistakes as I learned to walk again. In concert, my essence encouraged me to be who I am. I stood, jerked, and then plummeted after my consciousness into a tiny little whole left from dreams gone by.

The dream enveloped me. It was really a dream about me. It was living from the inside out. I had hid and covered and been shameful about my insides for so long, I forgot who I was. I no longer existed in whole, just leaks of me that would stain the ground around the tree, being held as examples of how I didn’t measure up.

I separated from the shaded area and went to discover the land of me. To understand where the Rabbit lived. There were a multitude of people I met. I met people who were mirrors to my soul and didn’t tell me how my soul should be and act. There were some odd encounters and people I left more confused then I went in with. The smoking smiling cat on a mushroom showed up in a teacher, a cosmetologist, and a few others. As they became invisible, I did get to see how I was pretending to live in the land of the tree all over again. As the smile faded, I was left with the smoke and fog.

I met the Mad Hatter as well. The Mad Hatter in my story was fun to be around. I enjoyed the company. I learned about myself and I learned I took myself too seriously. The Queen of Hearts had set up all kinds of rules I couldn’t follow. In order to be with her, I had to obey and remember all of them. It was exhausting. She was beautiful, and I liked the person inside, but the outside had become 2 dimensional and rigid. I met the Rabbit down there. Well, a close approximation. I thought it was the Rabbit. I loved it, and I cherished it. I would lose it, but not before I tried too hard, leaned too much, depended too greatly. I had been in repose in another shade tree, deep inside my dream.

I drank the potion and felt myself shrink. I gulped humility. I shrunk. I clamored for help, and tried to accept my diminuitive size. I left the inflated self and grew content exploring the child inside. I was tranquil with who I was. I brought me to drive a school bus every day. I accepted myself and grew to enormous size. I felt like I had triumphed. My humility shrank and I needed to recapture some of my status to feel whole again. I went back to my old career to prove I could, and to feed my growing ego. I didn’t fit in my small world and had to move locations. It required leaving me behind. I didn’t recognize that I liked be the best I ever had when I was there. I connected with the other Rabbit. I didn’t need to inflate or deflate. I was comfortable in my own skin. The problem with being bid is you have to maintain big. Or so I thought.

As I grew into my loose fitting ego, I tried to call on the past to come with me. I wanted to like myself and be proud of myself. I needed the accolades. I had already blown living in that world, and that world needed me to go as much as I needed to go.

The nice news is that I didn’t know anyone in this world. The largeness wasn’t required. The growth was limited by requirements that seem to force humility at first. Later, I recognized, it offers humility and personal growth, rather than external. I could live without the old definitions and preconceptions. I could just be me in every circumstance. More so, I only had me to see me and define me, and recognize me. I had emerged from the dream as my ego became smaller. I left the tree behind. I left the too big and too small me behind. I get to know what kind of person I am. I get to know I can handle growth and change. I am simply my own Alice.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2015 in journey, life

 

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scarecrow, courage, and the red brick road

KABOOM. My own personal Big Bang was when one world ended and new one began. I am almost 3 years into a new life circumstances. I lit the fuse on the bomb that would catapult me into a new dimension. It did not disappoint. KABOOM describes it pretty well. My wife was gone, my kids would be assaulted with the shrapnel and would eventually need to shield themselves from the pain and reject me. My business would be assumed by my ex-wife. My career would end, I would be moving 7 times in the next three years in three different states. When I went and had my taxes done this year, the tax person said, “Wow this is going to be complicated.” I would be lonely, isolated, scared, scarred, in love, in fear, accepted, and rejected.

One person described my journey as akin to Job in the Bible. I don’t remember the pox, but the other stuff seems to have metaphorical equivalents. However, I prefer to think of it as I am Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Well, Dorothy with facial hair and negative self talk.

I had run away from home. I felt unloved and a loss of intimacy. I had never learned to ask for what I needed. I didn’t know how to restore the intimacy. I tried “The Love Dare,” counseling, and even marriage retreats. It didn’t work, but in all honesty, it was too late. I had been away for a long time. I had started to change for the better. I was actively working on my journey, my connection to God, and keeping my side of the street clean. It was supported in words, but not in action. I didn’t want to go back to the old me and walked the journey alone. I was told the storm was coming. I couldn’t make it home, and the journey ahead was daunting.

My house began to shake, the windows begin to twitch, the sands began to shift. Woosh. I was flung into a new world. I hung out with one group of munchkins that cleaned the royal carriage, but in my world they looked like golf carts. The lollipop guild and I took breaks together as I drove a school bus. We skipped along a path as I taught math.

I ignored how comfortable I was around the Scarecrow. I will miss the Scarecrow most of all. She walked shoulder to shoulder with me for a long time. I slid into the victim role and wanted her to solve my problems. I let the flying monkeys rip her to shreds. I then needed her to save me from the witches tower. And then I followed the Red trail instead of the Golden one and left. I wish the tornado would work backward.

The difference from my story and Dorothy’s (besides the obvious…monkeys cant fly) is that I can’t go home again. Things wont ever be the same. My journey seems to be unidirectional. I wouldn’t go back to that life anyway. I am thankful for the tornado. I have hurt a lot, but I am a much better person. I have been given a brain, a heart, and courage. The Wizard paid in spades. I will always be thankful and remorseful over leaving my companions on the other side of the rainbow.

I miss the Scarecrow most of all.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in journey

 

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restless? write it down

Fear of rejection. Self esteem. Dang it…here it is again.
I was in a bad place today. I was reacting to everything with emotion. Everything was being done to me. I was restless, irritable, and discontent. I didn’t even see it. I reassured my daughter that going to an amusement park with her dad, despite how much I don’t like rides, would be fun. She was hesitant but I thought it would be good bonding time and maybe other people would come along, follow up on arrangements made. I knew they wouldn’t, but still pushed going. We went. They didn’t. She was bored. I tried to ride a few rides, but my stomach turned. I did ok, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do the spinning rides. Despite all the let-downs, I expected her to have fun. She didn’t and I was bummed out.
Fear of rejection. Fear of not being good enough.

I told the real estate agent I thought the electric box was illegal based on what the groundskeeper said. He refuted my statement. I held it together but was upset he didn’t take my uniformed word for it.
Fear of being incompetent or seen as stupid.

I faltered and avoided being direct on an invite to a party. I was feeling irritable, restless, and discontent and was going to a meeting. I didn’t think I wanted to be around people. She had to get blunt and tell me that I wasn’t coming. Finally, I answered that unless I felt much better after the meeting, I wasn’t. I couldn’t just say it.
Fear of rejection. Fear of not being liked.

Its all the same stuff. This has all showed up on my list before. I implored God and asked Him what it hasn’t gone away yet. I have done the work…oh wait! I have not been doing the work. I have been resting on my laurels.

I searched and searched the moral inventory. I felt the fear and drug it out in the light. The false events no longer appear real. Wahoo

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2014 in faith, journey, Uncategorized

 

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sand, cactus, and a southern bluebird

Had a lot on my mind, recently. I seem to enjoy the tumult in my life as I continue to add to it. I wonder if I get some solace out of creating a chaos and then repairing it. There is a line in the old “Get Smart” TV series where the leader of chaos tells Smart he needs Kaos because it suits him. I cant remember what Smart says in response. I wonder if I need a shoe phone.

I do enjoy keeping busy and it helps me to figure out things in the subconscious rather than over perseverating on them. (P.s. if you are one of the people that nodded in agreement, apparently that really bugs some people.) When things get overwhelming, I go for a bike ride and things magically get organized again.

When the clock struck Recently o’clock, I went for a ride. I put in my head phones and wondered if God would speak to me through the song selection again. I don’t really think God is scrolling through my playlist, but sometimes the lineup in the shuffle mode is reflective of inspiration. (Maybe I just have good taste in music). I got on my 29er and began the ride to the trailhead. An aside here, 29 inch wheels are pretty dang nifty, but it means your hips are near 35ish inches off the ground, with clearance and saddle height. Again, pretty nifty, well unless your inseam is 31. I rode to the trail head and began the undulations of a pretty glorious ride. I rounded a pretty sandy corner and my back tire slid out. I never used to be so concerned, but Albuquerque has seen fit to be arid enough to let cacti flourish. I had been anticipating this scenario as my bike tire is a tire only by strict definition. It is round and made of rubber material. However, the days of knobbies on that tire were long gone. I came to rest inches from the cactus. I cant swear to it, but I think I heard the cactus chuckle.

I just lay there a moment and heard a voice from under a nearby tree. Instantly, I thought of Mark Twain. It was a southern voice, almost singsong. It was mellow and playful. You felt like you could lean on the voice as it was sturdy and trustworthy. Occasionally, it stammered and broke the spell, sounding like Foghorn Leghorn. The voice said, “Albeit that sand looks more comfy than the cactus, Son, my suggestion to you is to get back up.” I smirked at the word suggestion. “Seems to me that you are mocking my lingo, Sir.” “Not at all, I have had the opportunity to be conditioned to smirk when anyone makes a suggestion. You see, it is suggested you wear a parachute when you jump from a plane.” The laugh was neither forced or dishonest. It was hearty and smooth. The kind of laugh that seems to give you a hug. I looked over at the voice under the tree, anxious to see the person who could hug my with a chuckle. I expected to see Colonel Sanders, sipping a mint julup. I saw a bluebird. There was no minty beverage nearby.

“You are a bluebird”, I exclaimed.
“And you are still in the sand, avoiding a cactus.” he retorted
“I have never seen a bluebird in New Mexico.”
“I am on vacation.”

I picked myself up and dusted away the dirt. I glanced at the cactus and smirked once again. I led my bike over to the shade and sat with the bluebird. We talked about life in general. Nothing specific, just about casual things. He asked me what I was doing in the sand and I went on to tell him about my tire. He said, “Boy, I don’t mean the physical sand, I am talking, I said, I am talking about the metaphorical sand.” He continued, “As I see it, you were running from chaos and chatter in your head and life. You came to a turn in your life and didn’t have the equipment or talent to remain upright.” “Correct, so far, go on.” “Well, my dusty friend, you hit the dirt, but avoided a prickly situation. The funny thing is that you were attracted to the prickle and directed your energy to it. It called to you and all you could do was slide right at it. It chuckled…”
“I knew I heard it chuckle.”
“I am talking about your life situation, not a plant, plants don’t talk.” “Your life situation chuckled as you approached and then rechuckled at you in the dirt.”
“I can see that, but I don’t know how you can.”
“Irrelevant. I find it most interesting that you chose to lie there for a spell.”
“Catching my breath.”
“Interesting, it is getting late, do you mind giving me a ride back to town?” With that, he hopped on my shoulder.

Its a fact. Its actual. Everything is satisfactual.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2014 in journey, life

 

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I would like more words

I had a professor at KU write intimate body parts on the chalkboard (yes chalkboard, I am that old.) The job of the class was to yell out all the other names for that body part that we could think of. We were timid at first. Then it got on a roll. The point was that many different words allows for contextual speech. I am not sure I bought it then, nor now. However, it was fun to hear the names. My favorite will always be, “the little man in the boat.”

The Eskimos have almost 100 words for snow. The Greeks had 5 words for love. When my kids were babies, I had several different words and utterances for poop.

How come the English language settles for one word for love? How do you know if your definition is the same? How do you know if it is puppy love, lust, unconditional love, love for the moment (or 15), love and passion, love without passion, friendship, family, as a sibling, akin to how you feel about almond butter? When you both say it, how do you know you are saying the same thing?

You don’t. Well unless you are someone who asks your partner what they mean when they say it. Hint: it kills the romance to ask that. Bigger question, can different definitions survive? If I love with passion and my partner loves me like almond butter, will it work?

I want more words. That way when you are on the dating scene, then you can ask what is the goal. “Hello, I love you, wont you tell me your name.” Followed by “Define what you are looking for in love, what does it mean to you?” And then periodical inventories could be exchanged. “Well I am at a 5 on the love and passion, a 2 on unconditional love, and a 4 on friendship. The good news is I know longer see you as my brother. My long term goals of beefing up my unconditional love, while shunning almond butter love is in full force and I anticipate consummation in 3.5 months. Shall we schedule our next meeting soon thereafter?”

oh got to go, I think it is snowing, I love the snow….like almond butter.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in journey

 

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