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

Bouquet

Each

friend

represents

a world

in us,

a world

possibly

not born

until

he or she

arrives.

I have a bouquet

of friends,

each one

different.

I find

myself

revealing-

sometimes

discovering-

different

aspects

of myself

with each

of them.

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

Attaching

I feel like

I have

crossed

through

wild winds

into the calm

eye of the storm.

I must face

the wildness again

because the

calm will pass.

Clouds

are sometimes used

as a metaphor.

Watching the sky,

sometimes only

as wisp of white

dabbles

the blue

of the sky.

Clouds may move

with the breeze

or be blown

by the wind.

Today

there are many layers

some dense,

some moving quickly.

The clouds

show confusion,

some static,

occasionally

the sun peaks through.

The clouds

remind me to

practice

not attaching

to a

particular

state of mind,

pleasurable

or painful

or somewhere

in-between.

Each state

will change.

By being

engaged,

conscious of

what is happening,

I try

not to hold

onto

one

particular time.

View from the Floor

Yesterday

sunny.

Spring snow lingered

on the upper branches

of the evergreens.

As I lay on the floor

readying

for my exercises,

I paused

and cherished

the beauty.

Today,

another April snow

built during the whole day,

 walking became

slippery

even with my boots

which had been

still poised at my door.

Time for the floor again.

Exercises

help me center,

program my body and brain

to help me

navigate

whatever

territory

I travel.

Inner and outer

steps.

Lying on the floor,

I pause,

meditating

on the beauty

of the laden trees.

The skylights

are snow covered,

blocking light,

adding their own beauty.

Lying on the floor

is different

than my soft bed.

The view

is child-like

not high above

where

I may not

notice things.

I pause,

take deep breaths,

savoring these moments.

The daffodils

will survive

enriched by the

water

from the melting snow.

Maybe tomorrow.