Hope begins in the dark,
the stubborn hope
that if you just show up
and try to do the right thing,
the dawn will come.
You want and watch and work;
you don’t give up.
~ Anne Lamott ~
You of magnificent beauty.
You soar, you leap, you create.
You allow molten tears to scald my heart,
to carve deep channels of pain and loss.
Yet those random channels follow a course as old as time…
No — older — pulled in a direction already known.
And so the tears flow, scarring my heart.
They sear into my soul,
then collect into a reservoir
carpeted in the velvet of midnight.
No movement. Into the abyss of despair.
Then a glimmer…faint.
No — silence; all is still.
Then, a swirl — a spiral —
of blues and turquoise, of teal and purple —
spearing the darkness with light.
Dancing, sparkling, shooting upward.
You glimmer and spark and shimmer
as you bounce across the heavens.
Moving toward the darkest of broken places,
leaving brilliant cascades of shimmering light
in Your wake.
Until each of those bursts of shimmering light
coalescence into a kaleidoscope of magnificent beauty.
I am struck. I gasp. I kneel, only to collapse.
My tears immerse me in baptism
until my heart explodes in a whirlwind of color,
and the love pours over me, through me.
Its wings envelop me,
and I soar toward that which is
almost painful to gaze upon.
I cannot look, but I must see.
Racing, longing, streaming toward the place of my creation —
of all creation — of oneness. Whole.
I left, only to return.
I wept, only to gasp.
I burned, only to temper.
The vibration. The fire.
I dissolve. I merge. I end.
I begin. I am home.
I am. Yours.
Never underestimate the power of dreams
and the influence of the human spirit.
The potential for greatness
lives within each of us.
~ Wilma Rudolph ~
Solvitur ambulando . . . It is solved by walking . . .
~ St. Augustine ~
LABYRINTH OF MY HEART
A pilgrim, I stand at the entrance of this Sacred Path,
this Path of Prayer,
this Journey to the Center of Being.
I know not what to expect, but am assured that
walking forward will bring me closer to You.
I cannot see my way to the center;
the path twists and turns with no seeming direction.
One foot in front of the other,
one step at a time,
patient trust that You will show me the Way.
Walking the path without a map,
feeling myself empty in the quiet,
letting go of the control that I seem to need
so very much outside this circle,
releasing the chains as I move on.
Walking the curved path dulls my outside awareness,
while inside glistens with claritas and focus.
My heartbeat slows to a soothing rhythm,
lulling me to a place of peace
as I drink in this well for my spirit.
I hesitate, then stop, dropping to my knees,
resistant to the Way that lies before me.
You and Your Blessed Mother, one on each side of me,
lean down and whisper,
“Come with us, little one. Come.”
I shake my head no as my chin sinks to my chest,
a cloud of unknowing fogging my heart and my head.
“Don’t ask me to do this,” I beg, frozen, huddled
and twisted about my Being.
For I know if I move forward
I will be forever changed.
I will hand over myself
to journey to a place unknown.
I am comfortable where I remain.
Yet I stand up, shaking, knowing that
I will take this further journey.
The next step is commitment, a marriage,
a promise, a vow.
I will go but You must lead me.
What I lose, I may gain ten-fold;
what paralyzes me may set me free.
If I move on, I let go.
Total, fearless surrender.
Truth. Discovery. Light.
In the center – a communion of all
the tears, loss and desolation into
a treasury of sorts of all that is good;
into a community of love that surpasses
Sitting in the quiet, the whisper of spirit
on my face as I gain strength
for what is Being asked of me.
Be still and know that I am. Be still and know.
Be still. Be.
Centered, in the womb
of this mystical union between heaven and earth,
I receive the blessings of awareness and wholeness
as I return to the collective memory of my soul.
As above, so below.
I struggle to rise, then I am lifted unaware.
Empowered as the path unwinds
beneath my sure-footed steps,
its rhythms beckoning me, calling me
on my journey back to a life renewed.
My leaving becomes an arriving as I dance
in the shimmering light that is Grace.
Bringer of Light. Seeker of Truth.
Bearer of this Sacred Heart.
You are their Light. Shine.
For those of us who have reached “a certain age,” that of late adulthood (65+), life takes on a whole new meaning. Mourning midlife becomes an everyday occurrence.
Passion breeds affection.
The future shortens.
Belongings lose importance.
We are actually quite invisible to a society in which technology rules. Communication is by abbreviations and emojis on social media platforms, where eye contact and shaking hands are a thing of the past. Baby boomers are obsolete, you say? No longer part of the bigger picture?
Whatever happened to the mythology of the old crone, full of wisdom gained through a life of pain and sorrow? Wisdom gained by suffering through the human condition, witnessing countless tragedies and upheavals, hoping so desperately to make meaning of it all, and to leave the world better than you found it?
At times, I feel invisible out there. Ignored by sales clerks. Doors closed in my face. Cars beeping their horns at crosswalks. Doctors writing everything off to aging, impatient and patronizing. Young people snickering as I walk by, albeit moving more slowly. Opinions being cast aside. Conversations shortened. Phone calls being ignored. (Did I really grimace at times when I saw my father’s name on caller ID, not wanting to hear about his latest health problems? Would that I could see his name come up just one more time…I would answer it in a heartbeat.)
In my lifetime, I saw black and white TVs turn into color. I saw man’s first step on the moon. I remember where I was when Kennedy was shot. I got my first calculator as a Junior in college and said goodbye to my slide rule. I witnessed the carnage of 9/11, and saw mankind at war so often that I’ve lost count. I saw computers go from the size of huge rooms to fitting into my pocket. I saw gay marriage recognized. And I watched as a society became inured to active shooters and their messages of hate.
I have a lived quite a lifetime in these 65 years. I’ve been through marriage and divorce, illness, the loss of jobs and identities, childbirth, the death of both parents, along with 11 years of higher education (yes, you read that right). I could go on and on, but I won’t. Suffice it to say, to borrow the words of a man by the name of Elton John, “I’m Still Standing.”
My life counts for something. I matter. And I will not remain invisible to a society that shows so little respect to the elderly.
Ageism, ugly as it is, exists. But I will not be ignored.
I have a voice, and my truth will be heard.
I have eyes that see with compassion and love.
I have hands that will continue to reach out.
I have ears that actively listen.
I have a smile that welcomes you into my space.
I have wisdom to share with the generations that follow me, ready for the taking.
I will continue to create and nurture and mentor and bring about positive change.
I will produce. I will be involved. I will contribute.
And I will find a way for my contributions to outlast me, however small.
Countless graces have been bestowed upon me in this lifetime, and I am truly blessed.
Now let me pass those gifts on to others.
This I Promise You…
For those who are alone, I will sit with you.
For those who have no voice, I will speak for you.
For those who feel invisible, I will see you.
For those who are afraid, I will protect you.
For those who know hunger, I will feed you.
For those who need help, I will offer aid.
For those who suffer emotionally, I will help ease it.
For those who go unheard, I will listen.
For those who mourn, I will comfort you.
For those who know sickness, I will nurture you.
For those who know hate, I will love you.
For those who are dying, I will help you to live.
For those who crave human touch, I will reach out to you.
For those who are blind, I will see for you.
For those in pain, I will bring relief.
For those who cannot walk, I will journey for you.
For those who are lost, I will find you.
For those in despair, I will hold hope for you.
For those who weep, I will dry your tears.
For those with no place called home, I will shelter you.
For those who are wounded, I will bring healing.
For those who wait in darkness, I will be your Light.
This I Promise You… ~ Theresa