This “Loving” Business: Work in Progress, Major Revisions Underway

“Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sometimes I look in the mirror and see bad behavior and gross errors in judgment tattooed across my face. Not that I’ve gone to this extreme, but no amount of hormone replacement therapy will erase my mistakes. It’s part of my history.

Some days, my life seems a rough outline of its future self, sort of like a Michelangelo in progress being carved from stone. But I like to Rainbow_Ocean__by_Thelma1think it’s more like a rainbow, exciting and colorful and fluid and fleeting. Some days, hatefulness seeps in and changes my true colors to black and white. But when I move out of hate’s shadow – for example, when I stop saying “I hate _______” (insert your favorite thing to hate) and start loving that hateful thing up, I see life in color again.

Here is my heart’s debate. Is it wrong to hate an action that threatens one’s survival? Hating the sting and loving the bee may be a stretch if one is deathly allergic to bees, but one has to start somewhere.

So I’ve decided to crank this loving business up a notch. I’m going to try to love those people whose actions I hate so vehemently. But first, I’m serving notice.

To all you people out there raking in the big bucks while making a mess of our air, earth, fire, water, and spirit (you know who you are), to all you child and animal abusers and all you human traffickers, I love you because you are human beings, but your actions are greedy and inhumane and it sucks sharing the planet with you right now. That noise you hear in your head at night? We hear it, too. It’s the sound of our souls crying because we miss you and need you to be whole. We need you to join up, see, because we’re all in this together. Please, come home. Come home now. I’ll make cookies.

This loving business is hard sometimes, but I am a rainbow. I promise to dream my life, and yours, in color. Starting now.

Rainbow Ocean by Thelma1

Together, forever

After a quick breakfast of muscadine grapes and crunchy toast topped with super greens, I set my intention on making the 9AM yoga class. But heavy school bus traffic got in my way this morning,  so I turned the car around and came home. All I could think about was the cigarette pack in the kitchen drawer, and how good it would feel to smoke one.

I’m one of those people who’s read Alan Carr’s “Easy Way to Stop Smoking” three times. I love that book. The little nicotine monster croaked easily after the first try, but was resurrected when my mama died. Mama was a heavy smoker the last twenty years of her beautiful life and, after her lively memorial service in December 2013, it felt dishonorable to ignore a chance to bond with my sister and nephew over a smoke. Had it been offered, I’d probably have taken a toke and a shot in the church parking lot, too, but Mama would have frowned on that.

A shiny metal, key-ring-sized cylinder, filled with a small batch of my parent’s mixed cremains, sits on my writing desk. I can touch them anytime I want to.  A few of their ashes are floating somewhere off the Adriatic Coast near Vasto, Italy and, in October, Dad will finally realize his dream of traveling to Australia. Mama has no choice but to join him, although she’d rather go to Hawaii.

By moms treasure boxthe cylinder is a sacred metal box filled with more tiny treasures. A lock of  Mama’s long steel-gray hair, held together by a narrow black ribbon, entwines around one of her lipstick-stained cigarette butts. Now, I realize non-smokers might find this creepy or disgusting, but feel free to honor your mama in your way and I’ll do the same.

The little red Cardinal feather lying in the top left corner of the box is a glowing ember straight from Mama’s heart, a gift of warmth that floated through the sky and landed on my arm a few weeks ago while I was working in the garden. Her message? “Have that okra fried with gravy on the side, doodle-lee-do.” Or maybe it’s a reminder that everything is going to be just fine, especially if I put my red lipstick on.

Soon, I’ll hit the mat and practice a few sun salutations. Then I’ll smoke another cigarette and think about my mama some more. Then, maybe, just maybe, I’ll pick up where I left off with Alan Carr.

Yoga Class

I walked out of yoga class this morning. Actually, I crept quietly out of the room because my body needed more air and less mat. It was as simple as that.

My dad walked his girls out of church one Sunday because the music was displeasing to his ear. He didn’t make a big production out of it, but he wasn’t going to sit and fidget in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat still when I should have moved, or the times I’ve moved when I should have sat still. So, here’s what learned in today’s yoga class: sit still, fidget restlessly, or move freely.

The choice is ours.

Lynn and Ace.