Wednesday, July 28, 2010


It came in little waves of inspiration, not one big "A-ha!" moment. And while I sometimes expect that breakthroughs will be like that: that I will come to see new perspectives and new ideas in some profound and dramatic way, I've come to realize that it is in the simple, quiet moments that the Truth appears.

I have a job to do, and that is to continue seeking Joy. And in my acceptance of that job, I will continue to learn and teach others how to do the same. We are here for that. Joy is our purpose. Learning is our purpose. Love is our purpose. And there is no need to fear that. No need to "wait for the other shoe to drop" or hover over the idea that if it's good now that something bad will inevitably come along.

No. What is good is good. It is just so. And being fully in the Good, just means more good will come.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


For most of my life,
I have let Fear define me.

Now: it is my fearlessness,
my freedom,
and my faith
in Love.

For that, I am grateful

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Picking Up the Pieces

After a disaster, or some sort of nature-made upheaval, there is a time in which you step back and survey the destruction. After the recent storm here in Iowa, a short-lived thunderstorm that toppled over trees and powerlines, pieces of my roof were ripped off. I took pictures of the scattered tiles around my backyard and made the appropriate calls to the insurance company. The kids and I piled up all the tiles we could find, I thanked my lucky stars that the roof was mostly in tact and there was no water leaking into the house, and then off we went to a movie. The clean-up was pretty much out of my hands: my dad took care of meeting with the roofers later in the week while I was at work, and a few days later it was fixed.

But the aftermath of my divorce has been a little different. There are no insurance companies to call and no clean-up crew. And after three years apart, and only one year living under different roofs, the debris is still scattered across my house--which used to be our house--and I can't get motivated enough to pick through it all at once, so it comes in waves.

Like tonight.
By now, things that were once "ours" are relegated to the basement storage room. It's a mess. There are boxes everywhere, and even just piles of random stuff lying on the floor: photo albums, books, kids' items that they have outgrown or will one day make it into a scrapbook--if I ever get around to making those.

I went in the storage room to look at my old computer, a Gateway my parents had bought me when I was a single parent living with them while in graduate school. I got out of bed to see if my old PC had an ethernet port in it--having some idea about connecting it to my cable modem and rehooking up my wireless router so that I could carry my mac around with me. Finding nothing but a modem port--which I already knew was busted--I stood and stared at the mess around me.

I shuffled a few things around and found a book that I'd taken from my Mom's shelf years ago: Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. I flipped through the pages and came upon his teachings on marriage, which I had first read before I ever met my exhusband. Gibran talks of allowing for space in togetherness, letting the "winds of the heavens dance between you." He also talks of individual strength, saying that "the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."

This was the kind of marriage I had always longed for, and yet it was not the marriage I participated in. My longing for space has been with me since I was little--I came into the marriage with this unmet need. Additionally, my individual strength has waxed and waned over the years, and when I gained it back I was no longer the woman who had said "I do."

I put the book down and picked up a thick baby blue photo album. Our son's newborn photos: My exhusband was skinny in the photos, looking very young and excited. I was about 30 pounds over the 30 pounds of baby weight, and looked exhausted. My son's beautiful images, with his bright brown eyes, couldn't shake the trepidation with which I held the photos in my hands. I didn't want to look at them. I didn't want to remember.

And when I put the photo album down, I turned and reached for the red and gold goblets that had been surrounded in bubble wrap since we moved back to Iowa nearly 6 years ago. They were from Pier 1 Imports. Tall, glass champagne flutes with a deep red coloring at the base and gold painted designs weaved around the glass. I bought them--a year before I met my exhusband--because they reminded me of the intricate henna designs young women have painted on their hands and feet before their weddings. I wanted to drink from these beautiful glasses on my wedding day; I wanted them to represent the beginning of an exotically beautiful and rich relationship.

I wasn't the type of girl who spent a lot of time dreaming up her perfect wedding day--collecting ideas for dresses and picking out color schemes. In fact, I was pretty certain I was never going to get married. But these glasses were magnificent, so I bought them. And months later, when I became engaged and began planning a wedding, these glasses became the centerpiece with which I was going to work around.

But I didn't have that wedding. I had a different one. There was no red and gold. I wore blue and white and laughed nervously through my vows as our immediate family looked on. We had lunch at a restaurant that put us down for the wrong date in their calendar, and we had to wait in the lobby as they set up a table for 15 in the middle of a crowded room. I brought the glasses with me--along with some sparkling cider because I was nearing the end of my first trimester--and we toasted, drank, and celebrated the beginning of the next adventure.

But two days later, the adventure turned into a marital screaming match. In a fit of anger, I threw my keys at our apartment wall and shattered the chain of beads that my five-year-old daughter had made for me--my name spelled out in block letters. She and I picked up the beads, each of us in tears, as my new husband locked himself in the back bedroom. Recently, all three of us on different occasions had said that that day marked the time in which we knew--in our hearts--that we had made a mistake.

But I would never take back those mistakes, not with the beautiful children and the amount of wisdom I have gained. And tonight, I unwrapped the glasses, and gingerly ran my fingers along the sides to follow the golden swirls. I cried a little. I was also tempted to throw them and watch them shatter--a dream lost; a symbol of something that never was. But instead, I carried them into my office nook and placed them on the window sill.

I am not sure how long I will keep them there; I am also uncertain if I will ever let them go. In some ways, they give me a bit of hope that the ideas I once had about a relationship allowing for both togetherness and space can exist (if I work to make that happen), and can include a kind of exotic beauty that is etched in these glasses. The flutes are tall, elegant. They look strong, and yet they are fragile--much like my own heart. And now, they stand apart like Gibran's pillars, so that the "winds of heaven dance" between them and the strength of hope is restored.