It is hot cereal with brown sugar and butter I crave, but I haven't had that since starting My Share on 30 October. Hot cereal is one of my only routines and it feels comforting to me, but who will share with me in the morning? Everyone is so busy with their routines, feeding themselves, getting ready, catching up, rushing off to work.
For two years, I've been in the habit of starting my day with a bowl of Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 7 Grain Cereal. I usually have several bags on hand so I don't run out. When Love asked me what I was in the mood for yesterday, I told her about what I'd been missing. Walnut biscotti from Macrina and hot cereal from Uncle Bob. She offered to come back for breakfast the very next day! Big heart in that Love.
We made plans to go to a cafe and write, then walk to the beach, but when the day came I got out the hot cereal and put two servings in two pots and suggested having some. Love was game and even offered some the toppings she'd brought for our afternoon treat--coconut toasted pecans and pomegranate seeds.
During breakfast, I read part of a letter to Love. It was a letter I wrote to an old friend three years ago, when I was already two years into limbo. It explained my condition, or circumstance, or experience. I kept a copy because it was, at the time, the clearest thing I'd written about it. Whenever I tried to tell anyone how I felt, it sounded like nothing and they just fought with what I said. It was a 4-page letter. I'd just come across it this morning while organizing my things and felt it might more clearly explain what I was trying to say yesterday. Upon hearing the letter, Love said she understood and no longer wanted to remedy me. She trusted me to find my way. And the clarity of the writer, once again, trumps the speaker!
Like anyone, I tend to slip into that role, the role of healer, when someone tells me about their struggle. How can I help? What can I suggest? Will my story shed light on theirs? It wasn't until Burden of Purpose that I practiced deep listening, for the first time maybe, and let my companion offer me their burden without answering them, just receiving it, and walking alongside them, trusting them to find their own way. Like anyone, I need reminders about this, that listening is a powerful gift.
I pulled out The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment and pointed to page 44, to something I read last night. Thaddeus Golas talks about truth and self-love in his book. As she read, I saw how precisely it spelled out her life and mine. She seemed to scrunch up her nose and not be connecting, but then I thought that wouldn't be uncommon, for me to find relief in something that wasn't offering it to others. Perhaps it's just for me and what I need to hear?
Golas says when we love ourselves, just as we are this moment, even if we are lost or bad or sad or hateful or broken, we raise our vibration level. That alone changes us, changes our lives. He says what I deny will manifest itself in my life. "No resistance." I must allow everything. I suppose this means saying yes a lot. Golas also says a few things about truth that I find helpful. "Facts are limited truths." "Facts have roots in truth." "Delusions are denials of truth." And "We don't need facts to be wise and loving."
Love was swathed, top to bottom, in shades and textures of purple, periwinkle, plum, eggplant and rose. A broad smile under a bright woolen hat. Long blonde hair streaming out over a loom knit shawl. Purple dress and striped leggings.
We walked to Cafe Fiore. I brought an article Marcia Wiley saved for me, about a poet who saves a forest. I'd been waiting to read it. We read it together, at the cafe, then did some writing. I wrote on my biscotti bag: "I am doing what I need to do, though it feels like nothing. This circumstance is my school. And I am its honor student. And its drop-out. And its teacher. And its founder and janitor too. I fund this school. And have a child who attend. It is a good school. Why do the teachers strike? Why don't the children learn? Why aren't their more backers? When will I graduate? I should have home schooled or tried the Carden Method and applied the arts more. O, I did. And, o, i didn't. And so well. And o well."
The article was a tear jerker. One Poem That Saved a Forest was written by Jacqueline Suskin and published in Yes! Magazine in Summer 2015. Above Marcia's studio door is a large painting with one word, "Yes!" It's not surprising to learn that Marcis subscribes to Yes! She practices it in her her life and is all about empowering others, especially children and women, to practice it. Yes!
Suskin's writing, in both prose and poetry, was clear and moving. She wrote, with compassion, about befriending a senior vice president of a timber harvesting company in California, a company with a nasty reputation for clear cutting and toxic herbicides. Her story, told in type-written notes, explains how she met this man, as a man, where he was, and through their meeting and eventual friendship, played a role in helping him save a large tract of old growth forest.
Her story invited me to accept that, if I am present to what is before me, at this moment, if I am able to love everything as it is, I may be doing the very thing necessary to raise my vibration and release me, and those around me, from suffering. Suskin reminded me to separate the human souls from the human actions. What I see in ugly garb may be the very thing that needs my love. And from those to whom I appear ugly, I can hope for and desire love.
To the Beach
From the cafe, we walked to Golden Gardens, down the great long stairs. A man with a dog passed us and pointed out we were both in purple. I'd noticed Love's purple, but not my own. Now I saw it. My pants were purple-blue, my shoes had purple trim, my powder blue rain coat over my raspberry thermal layer mixed to purple. We are equal beings.
We sat on the beach for a moment. The weather was dry, but windy and cold. Then we walked home via the marina. We saw various things that fascinated Love, a tree with handles, a window that went straight through a house and looked through another onto the sound. Then she told me about a creative action she once gave as a present. She photographed three doors, offered those images to her father and asked him to choose one. She said she'd knock on the door he chose and meet the person inside and relate the story of that meeting to her father.
Love had but something into the freezer when she first arrive. Was it time for a treat? I brought out two bowls and she scooped up some Molly Moon's pumpkin ice cream and dressed it with warm chocolate sauce and coconut toasted pecans and pomegranate seeds. We sat down in the breakfast nook. It was enough just to look at it. To smell it. She said, "You deserve it." I flashed to yin/yang, the deserving facing the undeserving, a split world, but then I had to agree, I did deserve it.
It's a wonder how many things had to come together to make this miracle--the sun, the rain, the tree, the bean, the plant, the cow, the human head and heart. How did humans get to be so lucky? We both flashed to the very evident suffering of humans and knew, we paid and will continue to pay for our pleasures in pain. The one creates the other. So yes, I deserve it... but what if I didn't?