When Can We Breathe Again?

charlie_brownI went to pick up my four-year old daughter today from her preschool located inside a community church.  I had a relatively good day trying to be reflective and more available and open to Spirit, and less distracted by the noise of social media or the news.  So you can imagine my reaction when I learned of today’s horrific news that a 24-year old gunman opened fire at an elementary school claiming lives too many to count without streaming tears of helplessness.  I must be dreaming.

It seemed surreal as I stood there zipping my baby girl’s jacket, adjusting her barrette which I apparently clipped too tight this morning.  I could hear the chilling words from the chief reporting parent, as well as the words of the other mothers chiming in to confirm what they had also heard, but I was hearing all of this for the first time.  None of it made sense.

I am sure that finding meaning in all of this was on the minds of all the parents and grandparents gathered to retrieve their children, but it was too early to contemplate.   What will parents tell their children about their murdered friends, classmates, neighbors, or even siblings?

I stand away from Connecticut, but still know that tragedies like these seem to be hitting closer to “home”. Violence is quickly becoming a growing trend, and our most vulnerable are often the victims. In this case, it was children and courageous teachers who seem to be working in hostile times instead of developmental classrooms.  Please someone, tell me I am hearing wrong.

I loaded my girl into her safety seat and then my heart sank. I looked back at her more often than usual, to make sure that she was still there, safely buckled and intact where I left her. I needed her fully awake and present. I needed to see her eyes. I looked for comfort and assurance beyond their glimmer. I needed to hear some more incessant pleading, and annoying requests. I don’t mind them, nor do I complain today.  I needed to hear her.

My heart grows heavy with the knowledge that there are parents, not too far from here, who will not have the same privilege this evening. Instead, grief and an overwhelming sense of incomprehensibility await them.  Though we who stand outside of their community empathize, we’ll mostly go on about our business, while their realities will be forever altered. I pray that one day these families will find the strength that they need to carry on, but in the meantime, as they search to find meaning, I hope that a comforting touch, a deeply pressed hug, and the openness and sincerity of community will tend to their hearts and homes during a very difficult time.  This is my hope.

We may never find the words to describe this condition which seems to plague folk determined to carry out violence for whatever selfish, angry reasons they have, but I pray that our response will be one that will help these families find meaning in this.  But I am not sure anyone can.  I trust that in time we learn to trust, hope, and just breathe again.

America the Beautiful

“You know something?

I’m thankful to be in this country. There are many freedoms and opportunities here that can’t be enjoyed in many places around the world. I’m especially thankful for the principles of democracy and freedom of speech. Most of all, I am profoundly thankful for friends who challenge me in love, spirit, and truth. Whether we share the same party or political ideas, religious/ faith beliefs, ethnicity, class, or sexuality, they know that our common interests are greater than our ideological differences.

We fundamentally want the same things, but may have a different vision for getting there. Ultimately, my true friends know that my heart is good. They hold me to a higher standard, yet still respect my freedom of thought as an important tenet of being an individual, and being an American.”

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I shared the above post with “friends” on my personal Facebook account today, and upon receiving initial feedback, I felt led to share it here. I am cautious about my use of the word “friends” because I know that this descriptor doesn’t always capture the magnitude of my relationships on Facebook; nonetheless, many of us connect in this way as a result of several, separate connections and networks that ultimately bring us together. This fact alone should present an opportunity to further open up and get to know each other better.

Without a doubt, there is incredible energy, both positive and negative, about Barack Obama’s reelection to office. I will be the first to admit that in all of my excitement and running comments during the debates and then again while the results trickled in, I never once thought that any of what I said could be interpreted as anything other than excitement for my candidate of choice. I would be naïve, however, to ignore the fact that this nation is divided, though by all accounts, Obama’s win was a decisive one.  Still, I am hopeful about our country’s ability to galvanize behind our common experiences and heart convictions.

I also hope that, if nothing more, this opener sparks a conversation that gets us to a more communal space where diversity of thought and experience is encouraged, valued, and respected.

Welcome to the table!

**Also, you can still check out PBS’ “Race 2012: A Conversation of Race & Politics in America” online.**

True Love Asks For Nothing

Give only what you can give, but give it authentically, sincerely, and wholeheartedly. Define the terms of what you can give, and give that and only that, because after all, you’ve got to save something for yourself, so as not to deplete those vital stores that you in turn will need for your journey. Give without contempt, without regret, and without the expectation that reciprocity will be granted. Release what you give into the Universe, and trust that it will be used in a way that is needed, then let it go.

Love manifesting.

“Did you know that true love asks for nothing?” (Stevie Wonder, “As”)

From Whence the Rains Came

Last time I checked in, I Breathed. It’s 2 a.m., and I lie awake, restless, courtesy of a loud, rolling thunder, fretful lightning, and a steady downpour just outside my bedroom window. Mother Nature is anything but nurturing right now.

These early hours are particularly unsettling because I’m thinking about just how much growing up I’ve had to do. I’ve had to confront  Continue reading “From Whence the Rains Came”

“My Funny Valentine” Love

A longing that only a heart can describe
(Still I’ll try)

The lilt of your voice
And curves of your laughter
Just whets my appetite.

You caress my cornerstones
Of tenderness, of wanting…
Your words splash over me again
Like water against the mountain.

The stretches leave me thirsty,
Temperamental, swooning for your return.
I know it won’t be much longer
Before I can feel the end of yearn.

Still, I thirst for your outpouring,
Which comforts me once more,
It washes over me again,
Penetrating to the core.

Yes, the sun still shines over me
But she only leaves me hot…
Worked up into a frenzy.
Ready and longing
For your touch.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my love!

Some “Romantic” Musical Inspiration:
My Funny Valentine“, Chaka Khan
Love’s Taken Over“, Chante Moore