Wednesday, November 13, 2013

More on Light

“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”

-- Baha'u'llah

Stolen Borrowed from my friend Po's FB page.
Merry ME

Thursday, November 7, 2013

More on Light

If it's always darkest before the dawn, let me just ask when is the goddam sun going to come out?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More on Light

I suppose it goes without saying that the magic of light would be ho-hum without the reality of darkness.
Without light, darkness would be everlasting
Like winter and spring.
War and peace.
Death and life.
Love and loss.

Today I've had some of each.
My writing group met. As always, the friendship can't help fill our section of Panera with laughter and light.
But even the laughter couldn't hide the pain in Diane's eyes. You can reach out touch her grief.
I want my old life back, her mother told her.
Well, I want mine back too, Diane responded. Knowing there was no going back.
She's yet to find her new life.
She will. The light will shine in her world again. Maybe not as brightly as with her beloved Wally. Maybe not as soon as she'd like. This is her winter. Her time to hunker down, fight against the cold on days that grow dark at 5 pm.

Marilyn is facing some real physical and financial hardships right now. Never a good mix. Yesterday a beam of light brought hope that she's found a doctor who will address her problems.

Bella and I got ready for a walk this afternoon. When we walked outside I noticed the sky on one side of the building was blue, and dark grey on the other. The wind blew the rain in our direction so we turned right around and back inside. A couple hours later, we walked along the river, no rain in sight. White clouds hovered overhead.

I recently watched the movie A Perfect Storm. I'd seen it before so I  knew what was going to happen. What I didn't remember was the way dark ocean tossed the the fishing boat around. I'm sure it was all computer generated stuff, and the waves were probably bigger for effect. On any given day that's the way I feel. I'm the boat, my home the ocean. Some days it's smooth sailing. Other days, like my afternoon with Bella, the dark waters build into a surprise tempest. I can't judge when the storm will come or from what direction. I try to keep my balance, but find, often times without a life jacket, all I can do is hold onto the nearest buoy and pray for peace and look to the beam of light I know is there somewhere.

A couple of weeks ago as the tempest at home was building itself into hurricane strength, Bella fell off a counter and landed on a tile floor, on her head. Yeh, I know .... ouch.  There is much to be grateful for. First, she checked out just fine. Second, I wasn't at work.  For days afterward, I thought about how easily things could have been different. I told myself, "Bella could have died today." How's that for putting life into perspective? In the big scheme of things, does it make sense to stay so wound up over too much testosterone and not enough gumption?

I came across this gem from Martha Beck daily inspiration. 
"I respectfully do not care." 
Problem is I do.

Turning off the light and tucking myself in,
Merry Me

Monday, November 4, 2013

More on Lightt

 I saw on FB today that Wholly Jeanne and her mother were in a Christmas store. While her mom looked at decorations, Jeanne danced to Christmas songs.
Hmmm, I thought to myself, maybe I'm not rushing the season after all.
I'm embarrassed to admit I've committed what some true blue (or green as the case may be) Grinches might consider a Christmas sin.
I've been listening to Christmas music, before Thanksgiving or Black Friday when the Christmas hype is ramped up over night.
Well, technically Christmas stuff has been up in the stores since Halloween, July if you count Joann Fabric, but I'm still way ahead of my normal Christmas music calendar.
I know, you're thinking "what's up with that?"
Christmas is the time of year that turns Merry ME decidedly un-merry.

Sometimes you get a tune in your head and can't stop hearing it. I've got a whole CD in my head. It all started when I was browsing Amazon for some kid's music. Not sure how I made the the jump, but I found myself on a page with all kinds of Mary Chapin Carpenter cds.  The Mary Chapin Carpenter I used to sing along to, with the volume turned up high.
Passionate Kisses.
He Thinks He'll Keep Her.
I'll Take My Chances.
Sometimes You're the Windshield, Sometimes You're the Bug.
Whatever happened to this woman who wrote the soundtrack to my post divorce life.

Apparently she's hidden away writing Christmas songs.  Not the typical carols, that every other music star has recorded. The only recognizable songs on this cd (Come Darkness Come Light) are church songs. I had no intention of getting hooked on the songs before Christmas. It was blatant impulse buying. But the first time I listened, I knew I'd have to hear the songs again. And again. And again.

Maybe this is why the Light theme is still on my mind.

From twinkling lights,
to a bright star in the night sky,
From candles
to sparkling snow,
From tinseled trees
to the wonder in a child's eyes,
From the darkness of a world gone mad,
to the hope that is reborn every year,
Christmas is light.

Yeh, I might be early. But it's worth singing about, don't you think?

Be the light you want to see in the world,
Merry ME

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thinking about Light

[Ed. Note: The fact that I have written what could be broken down to 4 shorts posts instead of one long one is not lost on me. I considered changing it all around, but due to operator error I've already had to type this more times that I wanted to.  If you don't want to read it all at once, feel free to break it up into segments. And you'll think to yourself, wow, Merry Me is really on a roll after taking so much time off. me]

I haven't blogged in awhile. Guess I just haven't had much to say.   I thought signing up for NaBloPoMo. Then I realized the first 2 days of November were already behind me. Oh well. Here I am. I'm thinking about Light.

Today I sat under a big ol' Sycamore tree, at a "Church without Walls. Most of the people were what some might called the marginalized - the kind of people, I imagine, that came to hear what Jesus had to say.  The service was held in a parking lot near the part of town where the  homeless hang out before the shelters open up for the evening. There were also teenaged volunteers there to serve sandwiches and bottled water. (Interesting combo, don't you think?) And I suspect there were a few, like Sweetie and I and those who followed Jesus 2000 years ago, who wanted to see what this church without walls was all about.

Today's Gospel was from Matthew 5:1-12. The passage known as the Beatitudes. Blessed are the .....
The passages that follow, however, are what spoke to me.
"You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world." (Matt. 5:14-16) 
Don't you love that? We are meant to be prisms that refract and reflect God-colors.

A brisk wind blew causing leaves to dance from the tree to the grass, as if the Holy Spirit were making it's presence known to Richard, who was about to be baptized. I have a thing for Sycamore trees. The story of the short, tax collector, Zacchaeus, climbing a Sycamore in order to see Jesus (Luke 19:1-10) was the gospel reading at the closing of my Cursillo weekend. I admit that I don't remember much about that weekend, or what was preached, but I remember the Sycamore. It's become a symbol for me, of the lengths (sycamores are really tall trees) some will go when they seek the Light. Call it God, if you choose.

In the past few weeks I've been privileged to watch as people of other religions summon the Light into their lives. Pardon me if this sounds blasphemous, but I believe that while there are lots of religions, there is only one Light.  To me, Light is what all of us, not just Christians, seek in a world full of so much darkness. I'm finding the differences in our searching are not as important as the similarities.

First I attended a "naming" ceremony for Caroline, one of the babies I take care of. I've attended a few Jewish services, and found the prayers and message always profoundly moving.

For this ceremony, Caroline was laid on her father's tallit. Each of the four corners was held by chosen participants (what Episcopalians would call Godparents). As each corner is folded around the baby, Scriptural passages are recited in Hebrew and English. At the end, the baby is literally wrapped in God's  light protection and love.

It didn't take long for little Caroline to realize this was going to take a little longer than she'd bargained for. By the 2nd fold when this passage from Psalms was read, she was getting a little fidgety.

"Let my being praise Adonai, who is clothed in spendor and majesty. Wrapped in light like a garment. You unfold the heavens like a curtain. You send forth Your Spirit and there is creation; You renew the face of the earth."  (Psalm 104: 1-2,30)

As her father and mother recited blessings over bread and wine, the Rabbi bestowed upon Caroline a Hebrew name which links her to the generations of her Jewish heritage. I have to say, it was not so different from the Christian baptisms I've attended. The only thing missing was the water. I provided that with my tears.  Caroline wrapped up like a cocoon in her father's prayer shawl and her mother's arms, looked across the room, wondering, no doubt, what was going on. Her eyes met mine and she smiled. That was the moment I saw God's light sparkle in her pretty blue eyes.

On Friday I watched as Bella and her grandmother prepared candles for their Dawali ceremony. I can only share with you what I was told about Dawali - it is a Hindu "festival of lights."Wikipedia says the most significant spiritual meaning behind it is the "awareness of the inner light," a celebration of "victory of good over evil."

Of course Bella is too young to actually help. Eating the uncooked, colored lentils her Grandmother used to decorate the candled tray, proved much more interesting. But I loved watching three generations of women, lighting candles, and placing them by the front door to welcome in the light. Again I felt privileged to be a part of something so sacred.

It would be hard for me to talk about light without mentioning my friend Terri St. Cloud. I think in another life, Terri could have been one of those big round spotlights that are set up in mall parking lots. You know the ones that go around in circles and look like they are signaling incoming airplanes. Terri shines a lot of light in other peoples' lives. To see her most recent offering is a reminder that even though it sometimes feels like we are all alone, we walk through this world together. Sometimes we are the candle that lights another's path, sometimes it is another's light that leads us home.  If you haven't checked out bonesigharts you really should.  Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

To paraphrase Gandhi:
Be the light you want to see in the world.
Merry ME