I’ve looked at clouds…..


From my window. I can see the sky at night. The clouds last night were slowly floating by and it reminded me of Pema Chödrön, “You are the sky. Everything else id just the weather” It changes, it passes. It provides different experiences for different people. I love the heat and humidity of summer, (Yes I loved this past summer) and while I enjoy the sensory experiences that come with fall, I know it is a precursor for winter of which I am not a fan. Many of my friends prefer the cold to the heat. So who is right? What is the “good weather”? All of it. Every weather condition provides an experience. There is no good or bad. It all passes. I think it is the same for life. There are good and bad experiences based only on individual perspective but really, it’s all good, and the experiences pass.

from both sides now

It is so easy to get bogged down with the “weather” at the moment. With weather we know that it will be warm again or cold again, that the rain will stop. It is a bigger leap of faith to know for certain that whatever we are experiencing will also change. Maybe it’s scarier because we don’t know what change will bring. I wish I were trusting in the universe enough to know that whatever happens will be an experience, and my perception determines good or bad or simply experience.

It is a good example to see the clouds move across the sky. It strengthens my trust. I truly love watching the clouds. I bet everyone has tried to see something in the barometrically formed shapes. Sometimes I just wonder at the beauty of clouds. Even approaching storm clouds have intense beauty. Those are the best times because it only calls for awareness and appreciation. How amazing would it be to see life experiences that way. We try to find the shape, the form so that they makes sense. The human brain is really designed to problem solve. We have to understand why. What a cruel joke the universe played, giving us the mind and intellect hard-wired to question everything but presenting the experiences that defy explanation. Some day I want to just appreciate the beauty. Not dwell on the storm part of the clouds, just be aware and appreciative.

This is my path today. “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” Louisa May Alcott.

Some things are learned best in the calm, others learned best in the storm.IMG_1526



Wide Awake and full of charge

As I’m driving through Pennsylvania, and then Ohio, on my way through Indiana, Illinois and then to Wisconsin, from morning until dark, I realized that this is why I was born. I was born to travel and born to see the world.

This last time it was a bittersweet trip. After spending most of the summer staying with family in Pennsylvania, visiting with friends and family I haven’t seen for at least 15 years, driving through the towns and countryside that was once where I was from, I was returning to my new home, my home of 15 years, the place I now am from. I was traveling from state to state but I was also traveling from the past to the present. I was leaving the freedom of summer and driving straight into fall, the start of school, and the routine of it all.

I always got a bit of a feeling of dread when I was back in school, as the summer came to a close and school was about to start. I hated to see leaves starting to brown and smell the sweet smell of fully matured corn in the air. The rituals of back to school shopping, wearing shoes again and once again being slave to a schedule, I never liked the end of summer. And now, I am a teacher and experience the same dread every fall. If I listen to my heart, I would know, I’m a traveler in the world, and schedules steal my soul, piece by piece, I need to listen.

I think the stroke has given me great insight and delivered the gift of clarity. It is clear to me that I am on a path. This path will not change. It is the path that leads me to, lets me know my purpose. I do not wish to waste time going through the motions of living. I know you the readers feel this too. So, when did we stop following our true path in exchange for the path we are “supposed” to have? I have already wasted too much time. I have places to be, people to meet and impacts to make. Who’s with me?

“Wide awake and full of charge, enough to power up this city. Every last light bulb, every last power tool. “

This was part of a song I wrote this song many years back but it’s the feeling I have lately since the stroke. I don’t believe everything happens for a reason, sometimes things just happen, but I DO believe that every situation comes with gifts. My stroke came with the gift of clarity. There is so much left to see and do. So many states to drive through. So many peoples’ stories yet to hear. I cannot be complacent anymore. And yet, I return to my present, with dread in my gut for the impending stagnant water treading that approaches. You know what I mean. You’ve felt it too. There is so much more, but we play the successful game, working 9 to 5 for income and benefits, too frightened to walk away to find our life. I’m wide awake. Who’s with me?

The Big River, and a Great Flood

Wow.  It’s been weird.  I’ve noticed that lately, the smallest thing can reduce me to tears.  A sad TV show.  A sappy video.  A gesture of kindness, and most recently fantastic music and acting in a local play.  The Susquehanna Stage Company presented “Big River”.  It is a musical version of Huckleberry Finn.  I was caught off guard by the touching moments when Huck and slave Jim realize in song that we are all more alike that not alike.  The rest of the cast sang tunes that were equally as moving.  By the last song of the show with everyone joining Huck and Jim, I had tears running down my face.  I was shocked.  I’m not a crier.  I can keep things pretty much in check emotionally.  I tried to figure out why there was this sudden flow(literally) of emotion.  The last time my emotions were this weird was when I left my job as a Probation Officer.  I remember a cute little Kibbles and Bits commercial that made me swell up with emotion.  I realized later that I had cut off all of my emotions, not just the “bad” ‘ emotions, but ALL of my feelings.  When it was safe to feel again, things came out at strange times.  So I got to thinking…

Quite possibly, I have buried some emotions over the past 2 1/2 years.  But some always means all and I think after recent break throughs, I’m feeling again.  Which means that I might cry at Kibble and Bits commercials or sappy videos.  But there is always good news.  I’ll be able to really feel the other stuff too.  Joy, Gratitude, Love… So my deluge in public, (which I totally gave my self permission to do) and my reclamation of feelings long suppressed, occurred with the safety of family and friends, and total strangers who I’m sure I frightened or at least confounded.  This long in coming breakthrough happened smack dab in the middle of “Big River”.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  Does the universe have a sense of humor or what!
So if you see me out somewhere, blubbering uncontrollably, take comfort in knowing that on some other day I will pee my pants in joy (or decreased muscle control).  Either way, it’s good to be alive, isn’t it?  (Say yes)