Gratitude and grace are magic.
Play with each daily.
When I am old and frail I will speak to my children and my children’s children about the importance of loving friendship.
I will say, what counts is caring for a person without expectation or judgement on who they ‘should’ be in your life, or how they ‘should’ treat you. What counts is letting them be the best they can be, and loving them as best you can for that.
Also, take the opportunities you do have to hang out, make a phone call, or write, but even when time flies and these modes of communication have been few and far between, remember that whether or not you know in any given moment what their love life looks like, or how they’re getting along with their boss, or how they are coping with loss, what counts is that they still know you care, and if they need you, you’ll be there.
Two years ago I put a part of my heart inside a safe and threw away the key.
“It’s lost, it’s gone, and I seriously have no idea how to find it” I told J again and again over the following months as we discussed trying to get back together.
Later I would have similar conversations with other incredible men in my life.
“I think you are amazing, but I just can’t go there right now” I would say. I wanted to want to find the key, unlock my heart, and give it away again, or at least I thought I wanted that- but every time I went looking, all I found was fear and another layer of cold steel to shield me.
In August 2012 I hit a peak. Or maybe, the right way to say that is I hit rock bottom. I was seeing someone very special, who was teaching me incredible lessons about openness, trust, and intimacy. I thought I was doing a pretty good job meeting him on those fronts as well, I thought, “Hey, maybe I found the key” and had decided I would give it a real shot. I would make a decision and “get excited about it”. So I brought him to a party to meet important people in my life. One of these important people who I look up to a great deal was excited for me to have come with a date and started asking some questions. He asked me if I was “head over heels” and as much as I wished or imagined my answer would be “yes”, from my chest came a brisk “No”. Then he said something about open hearts and lovely sentiments I thought I was living, and it happened- I rolled my eyes. I rolled my eyes at the idea of two people being open and sharing the deepest parts of themselves with each other. I rolled my eyes at that being a possibility for my life. It was a horrifying realization. The key was still missing. I cried the entire hour and a half ride home.
Last week a beautiful man who had been in my yoga class told me after that he had wiped away tears, grateful for the sweat that disguised his sorrow in savasana, during the song “Hello My Old Heart”, and thanked me for playing it.
Today I listened to that song again by myself. Without thinking about the beat, the volume, the harmonics, and how they would sound in a large, humid room, I listened to the lyrics just for me, and something new stirred inside. Tears formed as I realized I wasn’t rolling my eyes. I wasn’t crying because I was so disconnected from the heart I longed to hear so badly. Tears formed out of gladness, from the place of saying “Hello, Welcome back, I have missed you old heart. Be free.”
Maybe N’s tears meant something different for him that morning in the studio, but for me, today, I think they were showing me that I’ve finally found the key.
There is the heaven we enter
through institutional grace
and there are the yellow finches bathing and singing
in the lowly puddle.
My Reflection: Grace is the absence of judgement.
Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.
BY Eula Biss
“Every society is threatened by a nearly infinite number of dangers, Glassner writes, but societies differ in what they choose to fear. Americans, interestingly, tend to be most preoccupied with those dangers that are among the least likely to cause us harm, while we ignore the problems that are hurting the greatest number of people. We suffer from a national confusion between true threats and imagined threats.”
I am a good teacher.
I am a bad teacher.
I am a teacher.