poetry. thoughts and more than make-believe.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Tonight, BD & I went to a funeral viewing.  Visitation.  What's the correct word?
She was a year younger than me.
I was friends with her to a certain degree in high school, mostly because we ran around with the same people.  She was a dear, dear girl--and this was--well life.

She woke up on a Saturday morning--massive stroke.  Hadn't been sick. 38.  Healthy. Beautiful blonde..lovely girls and a husband.  She lived a few days--they even thought she was going to pull through, but the swelling didn't decrease, she started bleeding more and by Wed. night she had passed.

BD is friends with her brother.  We both love their family.
And it seems about 500 other folks do too.
It was a long, long wait...but I'm glad we waited.

Her husband, who I had never met, was a kind heart.  When I told him my name, he told me he needed Beths.  His mom was also a Beth and no longer with us, plus he had met about 5 other Beth's this evening.  It was his reminder.  His parents were making it through, along with brother and sis-in-law.

And I left without anything.
Just knowing this is life.

So tonight, as I walked to my garage to get a gallon of milk, I thanked the grass for friending my toes.  The night sky for shining.  The sounds of the clunking train.  The lights shining in my house and smells of summer humidity...for being alive.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Buddha. Jesus. God.

On Friday night my girls babysat friends kids, while the 4 of us went out for a drink.  We had a good time, though BD & I played counselor to this struggling couple.  Not struggling monetarily, but emotionally--marriage struggling.  It's ironic, considering BD & I are not married, but both of us have had enough experience I suppose, we clearly see their situation. At one point the husband, half jokingly, asked if I could move in with them to be their personal counselor.  She said he wants her parents to move in for that reason also. Hm.

Fast forward to getting back to their house.  I pick up their daughter to tell her goodbye.  
She's almost 4.
She looks at my necklace....a gold Buddha on one side, Chinese characters on the other.  I've worn it everyday since December.  My mom gave it to me as a gift for my teacher training.  She holds it in her hand:
"Who's that?"  She asks.
"It's Buddha." I reply.
"What's that?" She asks.
"What do you think it is?" I ask her.
She then reminds me of why we need to always stay open...
"God," She said with a distant smile.  She then tells me that Jesus loves her.  And loves Grandpa S. and he's in heaven with Jesus.  I smiled and said 'yes' feeling most fortunate to have this experience with her.  

Knowing this family, I can tell you that they wouldn't be able to explain one thing about Buddha.  And here their 4 year old simply connected the dots to it all...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yoga, Sivananda

I've been home a week now from my yoga trip...
I hardly know where to begin. 
To give you a short review, I learned about this yoga weekend a few months ago.  It was offered by
an amazing woman, Lila Lolling, who spends most of her time in New York at Sivananda Yoga Ranch...aka, an ashram.  An ashram could be compared to a monastary or convent--other than this was Hindu with lots of philosophy & yoga was involved...but that comparison makes it easier for some of my more Christian friends.

I carpooled with 3 other women, I initially hardly knew, driving 9.5 hours to get there.  The weather was beautiful.  The scenary was lovely--and we were exhausted by the time we arrived.  More than exhausted...we were starving-hungry.  We drove straight through, only stopping for gas.  No bad restaurants.  No bad food period.  But no food left us so tired, so you can imagine how thankful we were when we got there and they had made a plate of dinner for us.  Waiting.  This was the first wonderful blessing. 

We went to our rooms, up the hill, in what reminded me of a church camp type building.  L & I shared a room.  I took the top bunk.  Our first night of sleep though sucked.  Bad.  We didn't realize we had a thermostat in the room, so in turn--it was COLD.  And it's close to impossible to sleep when you're freezing.  So-- when 4 am rolled around, L & I decided to get up and watch the morning puja.  This happens every morning at 4:30.  It was a beautiful ceremony honoring the dieties.  Soon enough 6am came and thats when the rest of the community came for morning satsang.  Beginning with a few OM's and then 20-30 minutes of silence, I wondered that first morning if I could make it.  Not only was I exhausted from my lack of sleep and traveling but theres a NO CAFFEINE rule there.  Ok.  I am not someone who drinks coffee all day or pop, but I do enjoy a cup or 2 of my morning coffee.  Ug.  But, I did make it.  Slowly.
Then, 2 hours of asana.
Brunch.  OH my -- probably my most favorite thing-- someone making food, vegie/raw, for us everyday.  I realized how much I miss being taken care of in that way. 
Karma Yoga.  Basically, selfless service like cleaning or we worked in their garden.  Again, wonderful!! 

Everyday for 4 days.  This was my schedule.  I added in a sauna break.  I read. Wrote. I meditated.  I truly relaxed and enjoyed.  I spent time with people who were at the same place.  I didn't realize how much my soul missed that. 

And I was completely blissed out.  Now, I've had that feeling of yoga bliss many times--but this, this was otherworldly.  It was like being high, but not any kind of high you can imagine...it's like being so happy with goosebumps, but continually..It was life changing.   It was surrender.
"Happiness is only real when shared".....from Into the Wild

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