Monday, September 26, 2011

On being planted

One of the things that Edmund and I found early on that we had in common was an interest in graveyards. We both enjoy meandering through the old graveyards, reading the history embedded on the stones.  Often on a road trip when we spot an oldish looking graveyard we will stop. Strolling along the paths around the aging marble monuments to lives well-lived and read them aloud to one another. So enlightening.
We spend a lot of time with our "parents" his mother and my aunt.  They often ask us to take them down to our community graveyard. There we walk or drive(depending on their energy that day) them around the gravel roadways as they read aloud, the familar names, sharing with us, memories that are inevitably jogged as they pass certain stones or family plots. When they tire of this activity they sit side by side on the cool granite bench facing the graveyard, hands folded, listening to the sounds of silence, and anything nature has to offer, birds, crickets, squirrels and such. They seem at peace there in the quiet of these afternoons.  I sometimes think they sense how close they are to joining all these friends that have gone before them.
As they wander around through the gravesites, it must be something akin to looking at new houses and deciding where you want to live. sorta. The other day Aunt Dor figured out that there really isn't any room for her, near "mother, Joyce or Miss Wilde" and she wondered aloud where she would be "planted", perhaps up there on the hill with Dad and Auntie Phyl? she questioned? I guess I better find out."

Anyway late this morning I had the opportunity to attend a friends interment. It was a sweet, graveside gathering. What a tribute to our friend. Standing there sharing these last moments together I realized that I want this kind of a gathering as well. A real sharing of life.
 No long drawn out service.  No thanks! no service in the austre cathedral with organ music for me, unless you absolutely have to. (which i hope you don't)! It would be so nice to have everyone sitting around on blankets and chairs at my gravesite sharing stories, songs, poems, thoughts, sharing their love, holding hands, hugging, talking and being together and having a picnic. O well, if it is in the winter or too cold, then take the party inside somehwhere! Good food, good music, good stories and have a fun time sharing what connects us all. Love.
That funerals, services and such are for the living is obvious. If I had my druthers I would want to be surrounded by love as I depart this world and as Aunt Dor so aptly put it, as I am planted. I haven't really noticed my thoughts about this until today. I suppose I have assumed I would be buried in the Bryn Athyn Cemetary someday where family and friends could easily walk down there to contemplate their lives on this planet and "visit" me. Me? Will I be there in some parallel world?  To me there is an odd feeling of community in the weirdest sense of the word in this cemetary for me. A connectedness to the past and even a peak into the future, perhaps.
Funny how I have spent so much time there tending to the gardens I planted at the graves of those I have loved and miss in this life. And yet I wonder? Why do I do this if it no longer matters to them. They won't know if I do the upkeep or not. What do they know now that I don't know yet? They finally know the secret. Where are they? Is there a place? Are they all somewhere? or is it the beating of my heart that keeps them alive in my mind still able to make a difference in my life.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Numbers and power.

 Already I can guarantee that my children are rolling their eyes as they read the title of this musing. What can I say? We do it all the time. Give away our power I mean. I am forever telling my kids not to give away their power.  I posed the question on my FB status today, why is it that numbers have so much power? Numbers of age, numbers of degrees (on many levels) number of lbs, number of children, numbers of books, cars, homes, whatever it is, it seems that we associate so much power to them.
It happens all the time in our lives. I woke up refreshed this morning. I started my day learning a new skill on my sewing machine. Something I thought was going to be so difficult was actually so easy. She taught me a few little tricks  The woman teaching me is someone I haven't visited with in a long time. We had a nice chat. It was so enjoyable. I felt energized.
Then later this morning, I went for a routine check up.  I walked into the doctor's office  feeling full of  life. Part of the exam is weighing the patient. I stepped on the scale and some of the sweetness of life was sucked right out the window.  I had to get on the scale. Since being anorexic for most of my life climbing onto the scale has been a difficult thing for me to do. In fact for years I didn't own a scale. I didn't want that little machine to determine how I felt about me. I didn't want to give it so much power. I had no power over that. It was just the way it was.
Over the years I have tended to judge myself by the number I see. I spent years telling myself messages according to that number. Immediately I take off my shoes, trying to calculate how much my clothes actually weigh so I can subtract it from the number I see on the scale. I have given the scale so much power over the years. In an instant it can make me feel unworthy, unlovable, ugly, fat, and a host of unforgiving adjectives fill my mind as I seek to redefine myself in that moment. I came into the room feeling great, stepped on the scale and realized how little control I actually have over my body or mind. My whole day is changed by that number. It just comes over me. I can and do work on changing the power that it holds over me. It is daily work. Letting go of that notion that the number is important.  I know it is not so. It is not a rational thing. It just is what it is and I recognize once again how little control I actually have over my life.

 Then the doctor took my blood pressure. It was 112/62 low blood pressure. A smile returned to my face. I have been working at lowering stress in my life. I eat healthfully, do yoga, walk every day, drink lots of water, and spend time with those I love. I have low blood pressure again. That means that all the work I have been doing to rid my body of stress is probably working. This is "good". Some of that saucy life force came back in through the open window. Such a roller coaster. Numbers determining my demeanor once again, but it feels differently because it is positive. None the less it has control over how I feel about what I do for my body.

I don't have a magic cure for this problem.  I know many face it. There are some 12 step programs out there for those of us that need to learn we have no control for the most part, over what happens in our lives.  We are in a process of daily readjustment. Each day is a letting go of old beliefs and habits that  are sucking our life force from us.  These unhealthy habits are not working.
I want to participate in finding ways to bring breath and freshness  back into my life.  I want to be sharing the space with others on this planet in a sweetness that is full and energetically clear so we can move through our days here with joy.  That is my plan.