Ok, my friends, I’m hanging in there with this list of words, but one of the things I’m starting to notice is an inertia/quietude in them. There’s not a lot of vitality. Not a speck of passion. Not much movement at all. Perhaps that is more a reflection of me than of the words, however, did I not want there to be ‘delight’ in my ‘refuge’? Where is the word delight on this list, or passion, or joy, or dance, or even beauty and wonder?

So here is today’s word, ‘Journey’, which at least has SOME movement in it, although if I am honest, that word conjures up images of a slow unfolding more so than a dance of delight. Again, perhaps my response to the word is a really a reflection of me, as a journey can certainly be filled with wonder and mystery and joy. Perhaps I am merely impatient at the speed at which it occurs. I will admit, there has been a sense of urgency in me at this cusp in my life, the feeling that THIS is the time to LIVE. (tell me, what is it YOU plan to do with your one wild and precious life). My father and all four of his brothers, his father and mother, were dead by age 65. Of those, 3 in their 50’s. My own heart has beckoned me, ‘now!’

But, I have been working this winter at practicing deep acceptance, letting go of resistance (and the anger, bitterness, and resentment that were a part of that), and seeking to find joy right where I live. I’ve been practicing gratitude, loving ‘what is’, releasing dissatisfaction. I have been looking for beauty in my own back yard, reminding myself that I can choose to ‘bloom where I am planted’ (need i go on?) And there has been a softening in me.

But if i am honest again, there is another surrender in me that feels incidental and inadvertent to that letting go. The longing and anger are gone, but what I am noticing is that passion seems to have left me too. This surrender feels more like giving up. My once beckoning heart feels the sadness of that. The softening feels like a puddle.

I wonder how it is that the vow that I made to nurture the untended and dried seed of my own Belovedness, which I discovered within me on winter solstice, has by Spring Equinox become pacification. Pacifiers do not nurture, they merely silence that hunger.

Maybe the anger had to leave in order to thaw the soil around that seed. Yet, in the place where that deep yearning dwelt within me for all of these years, there is a void. That makes me question myself, do I need to feel discontent in order to feel alive? I don’t think so, but I do think I need to feel joy. I do think I need to feel passion.

I have been trying to fill that void, wondering if this workshop or that one might fill it. Perhaps some time alone in a cabin somewhere. Or this writing again. I have confessed to a friend that it feels like I am trying to plug something in to my self that might make me feel whole.

But every now and then, something Real within me does get uncovered. It washes up over me like a wave on the beach, uncovering a long lost jewel. It often comes unexpected and seemingly unprecipitated, during a conversation with a friend, an exercise class, or a visit with a grandchild. It feels like the sadness of a body going through the motions.
Perhaps it is grief.

I don’t know what this reflection has to do with the word of the day. All I can say is that this is the place where I stand today on the journey, holding this unexpected gemstone of grief in my hands. Tomorrow, no doubt, I’ll get up and walk that shoreline once more. Perhaps the setting from whence that jewel has come loose will wash ashore, and I’ll pick it up.

And it will fit.

Wild, Wild – Mary Oliver

This is what love is:

The dry rose bush the gardener, in his pruning, missed

Suddenly bursts into bloom.

A madness of delight; an obsession.

A holy gift, certainly,

But often, alas, improbable.

Why couldn’t Romeo have settled for someone else?

Why couldn’t Tristan and Isolde have refused

The shining cup

Which would have left peaceful the whole kingdom?

Wild sings the bird of the heart in the forests

Of our lives.

Over and over Faust, standing in the garden, doesn’t know

Anything that’s going to happen, he only sees

The face of Marguerite, which is irresistible.

And wild, wild sings the bird.

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