There is not one thought in this head.
Can a person write a blog with nothing in the world to say? With no important theme to share? Nothing strung together in connected paragraphs?
Let us try.
Today shines forth as a Sunday afternoon in the north woods. Leaves wave in yellow-green glory, heralding June. It’s a bit cold (mid-50’s) and breezy. I wore a purple hooded sweatshirt with a “Florida” insignia while sitting on the deck chatting with my mom in lower Michigan. She asked me if I remembered about tomorrow. Tomorrow? Many thoughts flitted in this head, but none resonated with her question.
“Tomorrow would have been Dad’s 85th birthday,” she patiently explained.
Ahhh. My dad. Gone more than three years now. If still breathing and coughing and walking and driving and drinking coffee he would now have reached his 85th year. Instead, green grass surrounds his grave site. One of his coffee-cronies from the Red Dog Cafe in Yale died this past week. His name was Jim Cronin. My dad introduced Barry to him at the coffee shop several years ago, and Barry really liked him.
My mom and brother plan to attend his visitation tomorrow night.
Age. How steadily it creeps around our doorsteps, trading youth for wisdom. (Or so we would like to think, right?) Barry and I have three parents 86 and older. One or more of them have said, “Getting old is not for the weak”. I wish we could see them all more often. I wish…but wishes are like birthday candles, soon blown out.
My dad gone for over three years now.
I am smiling thinking about him. He always makes me smile when I sit with his spirit. Hi, Dad. Hi, Daughter. Shine on Silver Moon. What a wonderful world, Louie Armstrong. I see skies of blue, and clouds of white. The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night. And I think to myself…what a wonderful world.
Except when it doesn’t feel like a wonderful world. When the world’s misbehaving–refusing to give us what we want. We want life, health, happiness, the appropriate politicians. Joy mixed in, maybe. Good tidings for our children and parents and brothers and sisters and… We want to be living, perhaps, with integrity. And we can’t always meet our own standards. So the world is sprinkled with suffering in between the wonders, isn’t it?
I used to try and turn my perception toward the positive, again and again. Not to feel the pain of the world. To reinterpret things toward acceptance instead of pushing away. Yet, lately, my spiritual journey insists upon the integration of positive and negative. To feel what’s arising in the body and heart. To really feel it, without a story. This has been good. Really good. Really hard at times. To feel repressed emotions and bring them into the loving arms of awareness.
In an odd way our hearts grow wider when we begin to develop the ability to stay present to all emotions. To not lock pain and sadness and anger and despair and boredom and loneliness and anxiety into internal closets and throw away the keys.
Later this month we’re flying to Italy to hear our daughter and her fiance say “I do.” A new chapter in our lives. A new son-in-law. A new committed beginning.
I am really excited about this trip. About all the newness, the adventure, the delights. The young couple exchanging vows. Friends and brothers and wives/fiances joining us.
Yet, remembering previous trips I know there will be moments of challenge. Times of not-knowing, confusion, irritation. Moments when I want to turn left and everyone else turns right. Not knowing how to use the bathrooms, phones, hotel keys in a foreign country where the English language isn’t primary. A dozen confusions, surely.
I want to relax into every confusion and allow it to be. To greet not-knowing as an age-old friend. To stay present to everything, good and bad.
And I probably won’t. And that’s OK, too, the way we aim for the stars and often deliver the earth.
So look at what happens when you have NOTHING to say in the world. All you dear wanna-be writers and bloggers and precious beings: keep sharing your stories, even when you have nothing to say. Because Life itself has something to say THROUGH you.