Staying in the Now

Saturday I visited one of my elderly clients at his facility. He was on his bed with his eyes closed. I sat next to him and waited. He opened up his eyes and smiled. He doesn’t know who I am. He has dementia. However, he never questions who I may be. He never asks. He is forever present.

This man continues to be a teacher. I refer to him as Yoda. A few months ago, when the state appointed him to us to be his guardian representative, I went to his house to get a few things before everything would be disbursed and sold. He had already been placed in a facility. So I went to his apartment and gathered personal items.
There were no signs of a past life. He is a minimalist and everything was very neat. He was a photographer by profession and had many cameras but no personal pictures. He never married or had children. He has no one. Leaving his place puzzled me. It was as if he rented space in his life. He lived in the present moment.
And…he continues to live presently. When I sit with him he never shares of his past, as if he had none. He doesn’t ask of his future, as if it’s irrelevant. We talk about the weather or food. Every so often I ask about photography and I am reminded he is still taking mental pictures of the present moment. He is available to see light and a world only seen through a small lens. He doesn’t care what’s beyond the view.
I brought him a box of chocolates for Christmas. He opened it up and stared at it, carefully observing the shapes. He was grateful but I was more grateful in noticing the moments of his discovery. His beautiful green eyes lit up with each bite.
I want that. I want more of what he embodies. I want to stay present without questioning the future. I want to stay here without reliving my personal stories. Through his gentleness I am recharged. I am given hope that we can all stay in the now.
We get to decide how we show up. We willingly get to participate on this journey however we feel we must. So, I must show up like that…completely immerse in what is happening this moment without rushing it. It’s like taking a photograph and capturing that second forever. Now!
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Old Treasures

In the quietude of over a week removing myself from the chaos, I found time to go through old files in my computer. It’s amazing how much growth I’ve endured in the last ten to fifteen years. It’s pure expansion. Among the rummage of memories, deleting one by one, I found this one. Written in 2006, struggling to leave an emotionally abusive relationship. The memories poured out of me with tremendous force. It took, yet, another two years to flee. I took flight and it’s never felt better. It then took another three years to share with him all that my heart needed to say in order to forgive myself for staying that long. He asked for forgiveness. I happily let it go. He needed it deeply. Closure is magical.

“I Wish I Could…”

The Magic of These Times

This morning…sometime around 1:30AM the moon woke me. I stepped out of the room, tip toeing, as not to wake Matt or Kali going down the stairs. I went outside searching for what woke me, the giant eye in the sky. It was magical. I never ever get tired of sitting outside and watching the night sky and all the incredible mysticism it holds beyond our vision.

I stepped inside, cold, shaking and when I went to the bathroom I witnessed my daddy’s whiskey-color eyes staring back. I hadn’t thought about him in long time. This season always gets me nostalgic. But I also feel the magic in the air…in the sweetness of something I’ve missed for a long time.

My dad left to get a pack of cigarettes on December 23rd, when I was 9 years old. He promised that morning to take me to the store to help me make a list for Santa Claus. He left and never returned. It’s not a fairy tale story but when I look into my eyes now I see his eyes, with the lines of laughter and I have his smile.I also see the millions of reasons for the things he did…like running away when things got heavy, or avoiding dealing with craziness, or simple responsibilities. It was also what made him charming and the life of party. He didn’t have an ill bone to him. I have his crazy sarcastic wit and the ability to talk to an ant as if it was human.

He also taught me what not to become with his absence. The traits I may carry in my genetic pool aren’t for me to act on. I stay and raise my kids. I stay when it gets tough and rough. I stay when it’s way too much and my natural inkling is to run. I also stay because I love. And he taught me that. He missed out on so much. I would never want to experience his regrets and resentments. He died a painful death with cancer all throughout his body for years.

It’s taken many decades to make peace with Christmas. This time of the year sneaks up and pulls emotions out.

So, once I turned the light off I went outside again…said a few prayers to the heavens and I witnessed his response with a shooting star. Like a gorgeous flow of glitter….

That moon…those stars…that magic. Go explore it folks. It’s healing!

There is magic all around us. Do you feel it?

Letting Go

My husband and I were watching the show, This Is Us, last night. For whatever reason, because the show is full of vulnerability, I began to share a memory that I’ve never, ever shared with anyone from when I was pregnant with my second son. I left his father soon after he was born. But, I kept that memory of my 22nd birthday tucked inside until last night. I caught myself saying out loud, “I’ve never shared that memory of that day with anyone.” He asked, “Why now? Why me?” In my silence I knew why. There was no judgment. He was just there, open to receive the message. We continued watching the show. Nothing else was mentioned. This is one of the many reasons why I adore my husband. And also why in the last year we’ve grown closer…because we’ve openly shared the layers of the past.

Memories visit us a lot. They entertain us with laughter and break us up with sorrow. They revisit when they need to be acknowledged and they also leave us when we no longer need the reminders. Whatever triggered that moment of me sitting on a park bench, 5 months pregnant while mourning my marriage, was needed to be released.

Why now? Why do such things come up when they need to? Why do we feel the need to share with someone and not with others? The mind, our conscious choices, and our essence are all tied neatly to this moment. We are brought back to traumas or issues and events because we require healing. We don’t have to entertain every single thought that passes through. We don’t have to block them out either. But, we do ourselves great injustices when we ignore the poignant messages that come through memories. Don’t.

DO NOT wallow in the darkness. Allow the detachment of the past to show you how much you have learned. How much you have evolved. It’s massive. We are moved by growth. I am forever grateful for my ability to forgive and let go.

Allow your heart to heal. Give permission to your higher self to help you. You are precious. And, you deserve to live in the moment without piggy backing any crap from the past. You no longer live there.

The Ghost of You

 

A version of our life together

sits in a frame

in our daughter’s room,

smiling back at her while she sleeps —

these two people

role playing a perfect scene

in some foreign Spanish film

whose protagonist

turned into the antagonist

in later years.

Tucking her in,

I stare at those two strangers,

the ghost of you

transparent

with the secrets of lifetimes

you participated

with so many others.

The interpretation of me

is of cellophane

covering rubbish.

That young woman has been buried

with the ex-composition of you

that so eloquently seems to smile

back from the glass,

encased in the lack of understanding

for her needs.

You haunt memories,

escaping the emotions

with your Houdini acts

that left only a version

of the apparition

we thought was you.