Sink or Swim

 

 

It’s election day in America. Pray for us.

I Feel Good

 

 

Yesterday I woke with a smile. There in the dark, completely content to face a Monday, I felt good. And I said as much, right out loud. Only I didn’t say it. I sang it.

 

There’s this musician dude, Freebo, and he’s got a song called “Sometimes It’s For Nothin’.” A lot of folks refer to the song as “I Feel Good” because those words are repeatedly repeated in the chorus. Anyone who’s ever seen Freebo live will tell you how infectious this song can be. The whole audience gets to wailing along with him, and I swear. By the time that song is over, you do feel good.

 

Freebo is a sweet guy and though our paths have not crossed for quite a while, I do think of him fondly from time to time. And almost always, those thoughts are triggered by the lyrics “I feel good.” Yesterday morning was lovely. And I did feel good.

 

I also sent peaceful thoughts to Freebo. I send good thoughts to various people all the time. Sometimes those notions are in the form of prayer. Sometimes not. When I imagine folks receiving my good intentions, I picture them smiling. I don’t insert myself into the scene, though, as there’s no need for friends and loved ones to credit me in any way, shape or form. I don’t need to be part of their joy or happiness. That’s theirs. My only hope in focusing on the well-being of another is that they actually connect with themselves and revel in that moment. Just seeing that in my mind causes me to smile. And maybe that’s the point of well-wishing. Maybe sending kind thoughts to another actually increases kindness within the sender. And if my kindness for myself flares, mightn’t I be more likely to spread that around as I go about my day? And isn’t it possible that I might make someone else’s day, if only in passing? It’s lovely to imagine life that way.

 

So yes. I felt good yesterday. And while Freebo wasn’t the cause of my feelings, his music certainly did reflect my morning joy. I’d say that was plenty good reason to send Freebo excellent vibes. Hope he felt them.

Orlando

 

 

Prayer. Heartbreak. More prayers. Nothing makes sense during this tragic time. And so I begin again. Prayer. Heartbreak. More prayers…

Living Wall

 

 

A while back I planted a “living wall.” I’d wanted one for some time, and finally found a small enough version to suit my needs.

 

I’d like to say I have a green thumb, but that isn’t always true. Tomatoes – sure. But everything else? I shake my head and pray. Because even when I knock myself out for a plant, it might up and die. Dem’s da breaks. It hurts my heart, but I get over it.

 

As for the living wall on the patio, it seems to be hanging in there (no pun intended). I’ll know for sure in a few more weeks, when – and if – the plants start showing some growth. For now, I pray to the garden gods…

Judge If You Must

 

 

Let me say right now that I do not claim political expertise. I do not profess social superiority. In fact, I don’t know much about anything at all. So judge if you must. That’s your call. My opinions are mine.

 

Watching the world news coverage of the exodus from Syria is heartbreaking. Individual stories are almost too much to bear, but I don’t need those up-close dramas to stir my heart. The big picture alone is overwhelming and beyond my comprehension. I am inclined to believe that good decent people would prefer to stay in their home country. At the very least, I imagine they’d prefer the choice to leave be made from a place of health and safety and not from horrifying fear. So already I’m blown away. But that’s merely where the awe begins.

 

I am thunderstruck by the bravery required to take one’s family – and little else – and start walking. Can you even imagine? Can you look at your loved ones, at your home, and see yourself getting dressed and taking the hands of your family and walking toward a complete unknown world? With no bank account, no credit card, no security blanket? For the life of me, I can’t picture it at all. And I pray with all my heart I never find out what that feels like.

 

The refugees, of course, are a devastating symptom. The real problem, the fuck-tards who govern and terrorize that part of the world, continue their unholy reign. I don’t have a clue how to deal with these refugees, these human souls who are trying merely to survive. I don’t have any suggestions  as to how to house, feed and keep them safe. I don’t know how to decide who should offer shelter. I am, as I said earlier, only sharing my uneducated opinions. You are welcome to disagree. For my part, I will try not to judge you for that.

 

And if you are better-informed than I, well, I’m glad. Someone must surely be! But I’m not sure more information will temper my heart’s aching. And for now, each time I see images of souls walking toward hope, I will continue to pray for them. Young and old. And maybe I can throw in some prayers for the rest of the world, too. Maybe we can figure out how to address this inexcusable root cause, not only the human symptoms. Dear God – surely someone out there is smart enough to have a clue.

Praying It Forward

 

 

These are healing flags given to me by a dear friend. She made them and gifted them when I was ill. I hung them in the bathroom, where I saw their beauty every day. Each time I looked at them, I thought about being loved. And I thought about how much love can heal. How much love can soothe. And I thought about my friend, taking the time to make such a gift. It all added up to my feeling glow-y and hopeful. And that was good.

 

Once I had healed and was well, I removed the flags, carefully folded them and put them away. I wanted to keep them, as they meant so much to me during those hard months of illness. And I wanted to have them on standby, in case I needed a boost in the future. So they were placed in my desk, safe and ready to serve.

 

This week I found out a young friend is unwell and in hospital. As she’s out of state, a care package has been assembled by many L.A. folks who know and adore her. When I thought about what I might add, I knew – without hesitation – that my healing flags should be included. While it is entirely up to my young friend as to how she receives those flags, they are given with the same intent as their maker. They’re imbued with love, with hope, with respect and joy. I give them from my heart and I give them without expectation.

 

It’s funny. I had thought I would keep those flags forever. But now I know that paying it forward is the right choice. In fact, it feels more like Praying it Forward than anything else. And for my young friend, I do indeed pray for her sweet soul and her health.

 

Amen.

Too Soon

 

 

I will always think of him and his big, curious eyes. He was a good kid. I didn’t see him very often, granted, but when I did it was obvious he was a pretty easy-going child. His face was charming and though he was a boy, it was also lovely.

 

Mister and I saw him and his parents through their cousin, who happens to be our friend. All the way around, they’re an immensely likable family. After crossing paths with them, we often commented about how nice they are and how good it was to have talked with them.

 

Time inches along (or runs at breakneck speed) and sometimes we lose touch with folks. It happens. A month or so ago, when I read about young Christopher’s recent diagnosis of a rare cancer, I was shocked not only to learn of his illness, but also to see he was already 12 years old. Reading about his struggles was heartbreaking. Knowing that sweet kid added a layer of ache. I mean, no one wants to think of sick children. But they’re out there, in numbers far too great to ever make sense. And I suppose all of us have at least known a child struggling with illness. Many of you have been responsible for tucking them in at night.

 

I tell you all this because young Christopher lost his battle with cancer late last week. That beautiful boy is gone too soon. And there is nothing I nor anyone else who knew him can do about it. I’ve prayed, along with many, many others. I know fundraisers have taken place and I know meals have been prepared and delivered. Honestly, those are the only things we can do. And that sucks. Christopher’s family is surely appreciative, but they are also surely digging through levels of hell I cannot  imagine. They’re good people. How they’ll deal with this is beyond me.

 

One day at a time, I suppose. Maybe hour by hour. Remembering to breathe. Caring for their younger son, Christopher’s brother. Hopefully caring for themselves. Eventually. For right now, in the newness of this strange, unbearable loss, I imagine their bodies are simply trying to function. Hearts trying to beat and not crumble. Blood trying to flow and not harden. Souls trying to maintain and not shrink. Co-existence. That may be the goal, to co-exist with the pain of loss. Again, I don’t know. I’m only imagining.

 

There’s no real guide for navigating loss of this magnitude. Sure, books have been written. And maybe they help. I hope so anyway. For now, I continue to pray for Christopher’s dear family. That is, after all, the only thing I can do. And it will never be enough.

Colorado Rains

 

 

Rains continue across Colorado, and they need all the good vibes they can get.

 

Yesterday I read that the small town of Lyons is being evacuated (as are a few other towns). I’ve spent many a summer there, at “Song School.” It’s a beautiful, magical place. And it breaks my heart to think of those good people and their heartache.

 

I know nature is resilient and that Lyons, Colorado will recover. Eventually. For now, I send prayers and love to that small town and its people.

My New Qwirklet!

 

 

 

I saw my young friend Kyli a few weekends ago, and she presented me with a new Qwirklet, to replace the one that fell apart. I’m so happy to have it, and am so grateful she made it for me. It feels right to look down at my wrist and think of her. (I also think of her big sis Taylor, and their mom and dad.)

 

As far as updates go on Kyli’s health, I can only tell you she looked super-sassy when I saw her. As I understand it, she’s doing better, but still has to battle some unknowns. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe she’s off-the-charts healthy. That’s my wish, anyway.

 

Kyli’s a strong kid. A strong human being. There’s a sophistication in kids who battle illness. I don’t know why or how. It just seems that a lot of kids who go through things no child should ever have to experience, do it with a dignity we adults could only hope to maintain. It’s heartbreaking, to be sure. And it’s inspiring at the same time.

 

Wearing my Qwirklet leads me to pray for Kyli more often than I would were I not wearing it. And those prayers then lead me to pray for other kids I know who are fighting their own bodies, just so they may be kids. Just so they may be. Here’s to each and every one of them.

Life, The Universe and Everything

 

 

Sometimes stuff pops up in life, stuff that’s out of our control. Undesired stuff. Tough stuff.

 

Some people I adore are dealing with such stuff right now, and I can’t do a danged thing to help. And try as I might, I will never ever know how it feels to stand in their heavy shoes. So what does a gal do, in the face of that?

 

You pray. And you hope. And you have your feelings and you acknowledge all of that, and then you try to breathe. Then, I suppose, you start all over again. And again.

 

Loving people involves admitting how very little we actually control. It involves boundaries. It involves holding on and letting go. It’s work. Worthwhile work, to be sure, but work just the same.

 

As for these darling souls, whom I love so dearly, I’ll just keep loving them. I have no idea how their challenges will play out. I’m sure they don’t know, either. And that sucks. But it’s also just the way it goes. No matter the choices they make, no matter the choices made for them, I love them. And there you go.

 

Again, it’s work. For all of us. But worthwhile work, to be sure.