The Photographer

This morning I went to retrieve personal items from a new client’s home who is now in a facility. Before everything goes to auction personal things need to be taken to him. I went in expecting the worst…complete chaos, disorder, and whatever else shows up when you deal with elderly clients stricken with dementia and brain injury.

It was surreal to see the neatness and orderly of this man. Things were picked up and left as when he was sent to the hospital. He was a photographer. I don’t know if this is what he did as a profession. He had cameras and other equipment around the house. There were pictures on the wall of some places but nothing personal. I searched for something…a story. I looked throughout his apartment for photos of a woman or a man or a dog. I craved to see love and loss because those are the colors of our lives. There were no albums or letters or anything indicating the existence of living there for twenty years. There were no footprints of his life. His drawers neat, his bedroom with a twin bed and two small nightstands. But, over all there was no proof of his journey which deeply saddened me as I scurried through his things.

He has no one. He now has a guardian. He has a staff at a facility. He has no legacy of folks who will sit with him and share his personal stories.

I sigh. Deeply and profoundly.

He is a sweet gentleman whose memories are being wiped clean. We wanted him to have something that he could hang onto. I found several old cameras and I grabbed them while leaving the expensive equipment to be sold in auction.

I retraced his life…I tried to desperately look for something that allowed a glimpse into his history. I searched through his cabinets noticing the placement of things as if he was photographing them…stacked and in rows.

What does this say about his life? Beneath all the minimalism there are stories of his likes and dislikes, his hobbies, his desires to see the world…. I don’t know. I can fill in the gray areas. I returned to the office with a car loaded of bare minimums. I don’t know if he enjoyed his life. I don’t know if he loved deeply. I don’t know anything about him except his cameras and the lenses…without traces of how he really viewed the world. My only clue is that he saw life through black and white with compositions of movement in orderly fashion.

We need tribes in our lives

friends

There is an urgency for connection with each other. These are not easy times.  We are on the edge of greatness and chaos. It’s up to us to change how the journey will end.  We are the present and the future. There are folks losing their jobs, their homes, and families. There are others sitting alone in a hospital room watching a loved one fight for their lives. While some others are in the petty claws of political and religious arguments on social media…life is happening out there. Life is happening in here. Life is a series of ongoing movements and motions reminding us that we get to pick the perception and reaction. I don’t know why bad things happen. I don’t know why anything happens. I would like to believe it’s for the evolution of our higher self. I would like to believe it’s part of a larger design. Who truly knows at this point? I have to be led by faith and that onset programming of a higher body of spirit guiding me. 

What I do know is that we need one another. We need tribes of people who raise and join us in our causes and dreams. We need love. We need to know that we aren’t alone in the path of obstacles and challenges. We need to get out of our own head space and truly feel the vibration of another who is part of the overall mass consciousness shifting for a better world. People enter your life for various reasons. They might not stay forever. They might just be passing by. But, their presence exists for a reason. Sometimes they appear to mirror the things you need to work on, and other times to enhance your greatness. When we hurt, we end up hurting another and vice versa. We are not perfect and tribes help us see this truth.

We are made to run in packs like wolves while watching each others’ backs. We need tribes and warriors in our lives to bare our vulnerability, hurts, and passions. We need to gather in moments of weakness and pain. We have to rejoice in moments of joy and love. When one person is in danger of overexposure and breakdowns we need someone to hold us up. If you don’t have this then you need to find your tribe because you aren’t meant to be alone carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. We are all connected in this place by a thread of humanity through love. Do not let ego tell you that you do not need anyone. It’s magnificent to feel the sense of unity even from thousands of miles away. And, yes, it’s heartbreaking when the tribe challenges and changes over time. It feels like you won’t find another. You will. We are always learning who we are through the revolving door of people and relationships.

Those who say, “I don’t need anyone. I am okay alone. Having friends requires too much work.” These folks put up a wall around them and then wonder why they are unhappy, why they aren’t given intimate attention, and why they can’t connect? You will always get what you desire…especially if it’s negative. Whenever I hear these statements I am truly happy and sad for that person. I am happy that they feel content, but I am sad that they are missing out in the beauty of having others support and love them. We are the sum of our experiences. We are legends because of each triumph, failure, obstacle, success and connections with one another. We are not meant to be alone in our grief or losses. We hold communities, families and the world with connection. Humanity wants to be heard. We require the sharing of stories, the acknowledgment for our lives, and love without judgment through listening. This is who we are. There’s an urgency to be accepted, approved, and recognized. There’s an ache to be understood in a time that things are misinterpreted through the greatness of technology.

Hold a friend’s hand in need. Hug your lover as if it was the last time. Kiss those kids tightly. Smile at a stranger. Open doors for an elderly person. Compliment a cashier. Delete the toxic folks out of your life. If they don’t raise you then they have taught you something. It’s time to move on. You will hurt, break and then reconnect with those parts of yourself and others that need more growth. Use your energy wisely. Get out of your head and lovingly give to another who needs to feel that the illusion of loneliness is not drowning their existence. It matters. It all matters to that one human who is struggling with life. Stop the craziness of self doubt and anxiety because there is no way you leave this life alive. Find your tribe and be grateful for them. When we share among others we see that we are not alone in our stories. Everyone is experiencing something similar. Stopping ourselves from reaching out (because of fear, shame, and embarrassment) is an injustice to our spirits. Loneliness, sadness, despair, and so much more are compositions to our journeys but we can still reach out with our love and feel the comfort of another holding us up. We need strong tribes to keep moving through life. You are not alone unless you consciously choose to be. Open your heart…your tribe is waiting for you!

To find our tribe means finding people we can learn from, people who are better at some things than we are, people who have something to teach. We say we want it, but how many of us fear being a beginner more than loneliness and much more than being in the wrong crowd? There is a strange comfort, a sense of safety, to suffering and loneliness. To be happy, to find our family, we must be willing to let that go.” ~Vironika Tugaleva

You are not Alone

 

alone

There is nothing wrong with admitting
that at times

this is much to bear
and you must fall on your knees

to let it out,

in a sigh or a cry

because being alone is part of our existence.

All the materialism,

collection of people,

obsessions and addictions

cannot replace

or mend

that space you have

opened to Spirit –

the awed-nature awareness

that says, “Hello, look at me,”

when you feel deserted or forsaken.

Allow it. Surrender.

You are not alone.

This journey is existential in nature

and its path is lighted by sacredness.
Sometimes the ache is profound and it comes
deep from Greatness
while you say,
“Let it go. Make it go away.”

Beg, plead and negotiate.
It does no justice to that space,

to the ache from the beyond.
The heart knows nothing of negotiations;
it is driven by a vast and endless force.

Tell me what drives this alienation to such intensity.
Let me hold you and help you in your need.
You don’t need to be alone–
you are not alone.

I may be able to hold your hand,

make you smile,

and when I leave

the emptiness will visit again

until you don’t feel its desperate claws.

You will sit with it and love it

as you reach the beauty in yourself.

I cannot fix this.  You don’t need anyone

to try and mend the process of your rhythm.

This ache and withdrawal goes unnoticed by others
but it is there peeking,

poking, projecting and protruding
until it surfaces again and again.

Don’t question your faith.

Forgive yourself for anything and everything.

Question You and what You need to learn from it.

Then again,
don’t question a thing.
Let it subside on its own.
Be aware of any pain,

control, the illusion of separation

and dive into the wisdom it creates.
Be thankful for it
because it means
that you are alive.

It means you are never alone.

It means….you are filled with creation!

You, the Creator

reflectionThere is nothing wrong with admitting
that at times

this is much to endure
and you must fall on your knees

to let it out,

in a sigh or a cry

because being alone is part of our existence.

 

All the materialism,

collection of people,

obsessions and addictions

cannot replace

or mend

that space you have

opened to Spirit –

the awed-nature awareness

that says, “Hello, look at me,”

 when you feel deserted or forsaken.

 

Allow it. Surrender.

You are not alone. 

This journey is existential in nature

and its path is lighted by sacredness. 


Sometimes the ache is profound and it comes
deep from Greatness
while you say, “Let it go. Make it go away.”

Beg, plead and negotiate.
It does no justice to that space,

to the ache from beyond.
The heart knows nothing of negotiations;
it is driven by vastness and endless forces.

Tell me what drives this alienation to such intensity.
Let me hold you and help you in your need.
You don’t need to be alone–
you are not alone.

I may be able to hold your hand,

make you smile,

and when I leave

the emptiness will visit again

until you don’t feel its desperate claws.

You will sit with it and love it

as you reach the beauty in yourself.

I cannot fix this.  You don’t need anyone

to try and mend the process of your rhythm.

This ache and withdrawal goes unnoticed by others
but it is there peaking,

poking, projecting and protruding
until it surfaces again and again.

Don’t question your faith.

Question what You need to learn from it.

Then again
don’t question a thing.
Let it subside on its own.
Be aware of any pain,

control,

the illusion of separation

and dive into the wisdom it creates.
Be thankful for it
because it means
that you are alive.

It means you are never alone.

It means…

you are the one…

the only…

creation.