Life and. . .

Loss

of a loved one,

a family member,

is a stark

reality

of life.

There is

no way out.

Anticipating

a loved one’s death

offers no

preparation.

Expectation,

no matter

how long,

does not

offer

a roadmap.

Once the rituals

whatever they are

have ended,

each of us

are

on our own.

Friends may console,

prayers said,

but in each moment

reminders

present

the harshness

of raw

physical,

emotional,

spiritual

change.

When

tears wet

my eyes

or sobs

move my

body,

it is a relief.

Pent-up

emotions

erupt

on grief’s

own schedule.

There is no

measurement

of the tears, the sadness.

The shadows

linger.

“Are you over it yet?”

a friend was asked

six weeks after her husband died.

There should be

no expectation

or impatience

with someone’s

time of

mourning.

There may be

stages,

but each person

marks their own.

There may be

light

with the shadows.

Sometimes.

A smell,

a glimpse

of someone who

reminds of

the loved one.

The depth and length

of grief

may

reflect the

intensity

of love

between

the

one

who has died

and those

left to mourn.

Life

Death.

Kindness.

Please.

Age and Wisdom

I

should be

wiser

than I was.

Memory

composes a story

of shames and amazements.

The shames I closed

inside myself,

but the amazements,

at a sun streaked wall,

at the thrill

of an oriole,

a face,

an iris,

a volume of poems,

a person,

endure and return

in brightness.

Such moments lifted me

above my lameness.

-Czeselaw Milosz , Polish Nobel Laureate in Literature

 I don’t necessarily feel wiser as I age. However, I do remember coming upon similar challenges at earlier times and hoping that what I learned would help me.It is natural to assume that age will confer wisdom. It is really a hope that I will remember-and act on-what I’ve learned from life’s experiences.   Sometimes, I realize that asking “is this mine?”  is the question to ask myself. Often the quiet answer comes and it is “NO”.

Playing Back

A friend

needs

the song

in your heart

and can sing

it back

to you

when

you need it.

In some ways,

friends

are

mirrors

to us,

and, at times,

we can be

mirrors to them.

Friends

can know

how

to sing

words of encouragement

and love-

music

to our hearts-

when

we need them.

I think

that one of the signs

of real friendship

is the

reciprocity

of

keeping in touch.

livinglinesreflections.com

Filling Up With Moments In-Between

Artists know that

negative space

defines

a composition.

Musicians know that

the silence

between

the notes

is as much

a part of the

experience

of the music

as the notes.

Think of

space

and

silence

when you

breathe,

knowing

that

the pause

between

the

in-breath

and the

out-breath

fills you.

Paying attention

to one’s breath

is a

reminder of

how full of life

we are.

Imagine

soothing

oxygen,

filling

your body,

reaching

every cell.

It is a way

to stay

in the moment.

livinglinesreflections.com

More Understanding

Soul and body,

I suggest,

react

sympathetically

upon each other;

a change

in the state of the

soul produces

a change

in the shape

of the body,

and conversely:

a change in the

shape of the body

produces

a change in

the state of the soul.

Surprise!

Aristotle,

Physiognomics, c.350 B.C.E.

Aristotle’s theory is

much quoted today.

It is humbling

to think

that the

ancient Greeks

framed questions

that still preoccupy us

more than 23 centuries later.

It is exciting too,

because over the

past two decades,

scientists

have acquired

powerful

new imaging tools

that are

revolutionizing

our understanding

of the connection

between

body and mind.

Turning the Sound Down

When you feel

life is too intense,

imagine it as

a TV soap opera.

Turn the sound down

until it seems manageable

or mute the sound

and read the text.

It reads

differently

than it sounds.

What is

going on

in your life

may seem

less dramatic.

Sometimes

we can’t

eliminate

the drama

in our lives,

but we can

turn the volume down.

Do you have

ways

that help

you ?

Calm

We often

judge

others’ outsides

from our own inside.

or we judge

our own insides

by others’ outsides.

We look

at others

as calm,

in control,

on top of things.

For many people,

it takes a

lot of effort

to put

themselves together

and what you see

is the result

of that effort,

not the

challenge

of getting there.

I am startled

when someone

tells me

that I always

seem”so calm”

especially at moments

when I have

a lot of emotions

going on

inside.

As I grow older,

I am becoming

more willing

to reveal

some of those inner feelings,

that being vulnerable

is a painful experience.

Sometimes,

being open and honest

can be an opportunity

for closer

relationships.

livinglinesreflections.com