Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Memories of My Grandparents - Part 2

I have 2 memories of my paternal grandparents from my adult life I cherish. The first happened in my grandmother's kitchen. I had been married only 4 months and had just had a very early term miscarriage. As I was working over the sink my Grandma came up beside me. She busied herself in something next to me. She began to speak, quietly so it was jus between us. It was the first time I could recall being addressed as an equal. She told me how she understood my pain. Husbands were nice, but they could never really know. It was obvious she had a long buried hurt. I did not know my grandmother had ever lost a child. She spoke a few more brief words then walked away when someone else came in the kitchen.

To this day I do not recall her words. In their place I remember the feeling. It was as if I was acknowledged as an adult and welcomed into some secret sisterhood all at once. I saw my grandmother not as an old lady, but as a woman. For a few moments she was a young wife suffering a loss, a close friend offering comfort, and the voice of wisdom. It was a beautiful fleeting connection.

My second memory was a few years later on a visit to their house. Grandpa was sitting in his favorite chair talking about the good old days. Suddenly he asked if I would like to see a picture of the most beautiful woman. He pulled out his wallet and took out an old black and white photo. "See. Isn't that the most beautiful thing you ever did see?" It was my grandmother when she was younger, maybe 30 tops.

Grandma came in from the kitchen. "Would you stop showing off that old thing?"

"Well, why shouldn't I show it off? You're beautiful." Then he made some comment, (to this day I wish I could remember exactly what he said,) to the effect of calling her 'his girl.'

"Don't you be too sure about that," she replied.

He feigned suprise. "What you got someone else courting you on the side? Is it that one guy from church?"

I was giggling as she responded in absolute seriousness,"Maybe I do." She put her chin in the air and turned towards he kitchen.

"Well then. I suppose I'll just have to try a little harder to keep you then," he responded as he winked at me.

It was so beautiful to watch those two flirting together so playfully. They seemed so young and full of life in that moment. I decided right then and there that is what I wanted for my relationship, to always have that flirty attraction energy. Not every second, but always there, ready to be called forward at anytime. Love does not grow old, thus it can keep us young if we let it.

Memories of My Grandparents

When I was 8 years old I asked my parents to let me stay overnight with my paternal grandparents. They lived about an hour drive away. Although nice enough people, they weren't exactly "kid" people. Grandma was quiet and always bustling cleaning or cooking. Grandpa was jollier, but in a old man sit in a chair all day telling stories kind of way. I wanted to go because I wanted to learn about them, to have a memory of them.

When I got there I heard my Grandma say, "What am I suppose to do with a child all day? I have things to do!" She was rather nervous. She shouldn't have worried. It must have been a Friday 'cause Grandpa had to work all day and we had a picnic the next day with my family.

After Grandpa left Grandma told me I could color or play with the toys. The crayons were old and worn, each having several colors of wax flaked and stuck on. The books had been used by all my cousins for at least a decade. The "box" of toys was about the size of two large shoe boxes stacked on top of each other. The toys were old and dirty. My older sisters say they had looked that way as long as they can remember and Mom says she doesn't recall a time Grandma didn't have them. Fortunately, I had a better idea than used coloring books and worn toys.

"Grandma, tell me about when you were little."

"Oh, child, you don't want to hear that."

"Yes, I do." Then I asked a couple simple questions, like how many children were in her family. To this day I wish I had a recorder back then. She must of really needed someone to listen. It was a clear blue morning when she started. As she talked she sat down with her back to the window, facing me. If she slowed down a simple question got her steam going strong. The sky clouded over. She talked. A storm blew in, howling winds and buckets of rain. She talked. She was oblivious to it all. She went right on talking. The storm blew over and moved on. The sky cleared. She talked. I sat in rapt attention. Although I noticed the time and the storm I never moved, never interuptiong the world she was in. Even in the moment I felt sorrow I couldn't capture this and keep it forever. It was magic to she her living in her words.

Then it was over. Grandpa came home. She was upset she had "wasted" a whole day and "didn't even have dinner on the table." We had never even stopped for lunch. Grandpa was pretty easy going. He thought it would be more fun to take his granddaughter out for ice cream insted. We could have dinner when we go back. So "the old fool" and I set out.

We drove into town. Apparently the storm had been worse than I had realized. There were tree branches blown down in yards and debris all over the place. When we got to the ice cream shop it was closed. I have he impression it was out of business, but I was young and am no longer sure. Grandpa was suprised, but not upset. He didn't know of any place else in town to go. (It was a very small town.) So, we headed home for dinner, taking a different route back.

Grandpa was a natural talker. He was always telling some story or giving you some lecture. This time it was stories, the good kind you laugh through and want to hear again. As we were driving along down the country roads we came to an intersection where the earlier storm had washed some fence posts and other debris out into the road. There was room to drive around. In the middle of his story Grandpa stopped the car, got out and cleared the intersection. After he finished he got in and picked up his story as if nothing had happened. When he stopped to take a breath I asked him why he had done that. He looked suprised. "Well, someone has to clean it up." Then he went into another story. I never forgot that. To this day I stop to clear blown over garbage cans or other things off the street when I can.

My paternal grandparents are both gone now. I miss them but I am grateful for the good memories I have of them and the lessons they taught me.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nearing Mind Melds

Do you remember a time when you wondered what it would be like to be someone else? A member of the opposite sex? Someone famous? Someone you love?

We've all heard of people who can read other people's thoughts. What if much more than that were possible? What if you could really feel what it was like to be in their skin? What if you could access their memories- the smells, the emotions, the sensations?

If we are all one, connected in consciousness, wouldn't it seem logical this sharing would naturally become a possibility? What if the only thing stopping us from doing this naturally is a very thin veil, a simple belief; the belief we are seperate beings? What if the only thing keeping us from one another is that we agree to do so? What if we were to re-member how to connect?

Would you want to share? Could you be that brave, to be completely open? Could you accept another person without judgements on their experiences? Could you cease to judge and label your own past?

I can't help but wonder, could I? Would I? When?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Powder- the movie

Tonight Jim rented Powder. I am not sure why he choose it...but I am glad he did. Initially I had no desire to see this movie, when it first came out or now. After watching it I was left speechless. It is like my insides are full, yet no words come out. There is a great sense of just being with it. Peace.

The movie held a great message, that we are all connected. We put up barriers and disconnect ourselves from "out there" while the truth is there is no "out there." It is all a part of each of us. We just stopped plugging in. We bought in to the lie that we are each seperate divided beings.

Remember the truth.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Universe

How many people do you know? Are they alike? How many religions are here? How many theories about how the Universe works?

Over the years I have had the privledge of meeting all different kinds of people. Different cultures, personalities and religions. I now have friends from around the world and with many varied belief systems. Respecting each of these beautiful people is a priority. One way I do this is by referencing the higher power over us all simply as "The Universe."

Personally, I believe in a loving Godhead who created all things, including the universe and myself. They set in motion all things and continue to watch over, insuring the universe acts in accordance with the ultimate laws and utalizing those laws to assist mankind.

Whatever your personal beliefs, I respect that and honor all those who live in accordance with the values they claim as their own.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Best Birthday

Last week was my birthday. I share this only to relate how fantastic the Universe is.

How do you feel about your birthday? I LOVE my birthday. It is the best day all year. It isn't the gifts or cake. For one day I get to be the most important person in my little world. For one day everyone I touch gets to celebrate the wonderous gift of being alive. For one day I invite everyone to remember what a miracle it is just to be here, to be breathing, to experience everything this wonderous Earth has to offer, air, rain, seasons, beach, mountains, sunshine.... You are alive! What a trip!

This year I was in New York staffing Ultimate Leadership Camp, which is insanely powerful. (If you go, tell 'em I sent you.) Before I left home one of the intentions I set was to have the best birthday ever. Boy, did I! Everyone was so supportive. So much positive energy was sent my way. I was sung to multiple times, got a cake and enjoyed more hugs than I can count. One of the staff was retired Army. He lined up the other staffers and had them sing in cadance for me as well. After several cold rainy days the Universe answered my request and we had a bright sunny day. On top of all that I got to experience great lessons and tremendous growth as well as watch an amazing group of people grow and learn. It was amazing.

The Universe truely does wish to support you, to say 'yes' to your requests. Are you asking better questions?

To each of you, whenever it may fall, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!