Monday, October 26, 2009

The Edge of Forver (part 1)

The edge of forever lies somewhere between everywhere, here, and there, at the heart of a fulcrum where the beginning without an end can be found. Every soul is bound here and will be forever, this is the way it always has been; from my perspective. I know this to be true and in the writing that will follow I will share some of the experiences I have encountered that have influenced me to find some degree of truth in my beliefs. While I find myself questioning religions, I do thoroughly enjoy studying them. I do also believe there is a higher power that surrounds us, there is something great just out there beyond our reach, beyond our level of understanding, is it the Divine? I do not know. It is the not knowing that allows me to believe in the possibility......and it is the belief that gives me hope, a purpose, and the focus that keeps me asking questions-searching for truth and meaning......

We Are All But Threads of a Web(Part1)

"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." Chief Seattle

There once was young mother who moved her family to a quaint New England town, the same town she grew up in. She always loved New England and after having lived everywhere inbetween east, west, noth, and south, she and her husband wanted a permanent place to call home, where they would be close to family and friends, especially the grand parents.
While running errands in the center of town she met a woman named Sue who had two twin daughters the same age as her daughter. They became friends instantly and their friendship would become a foundation on which life's realities, truths, and perspectives would be built; a friendship that would save a life while bringing an element of faith back to the very life saved- all because of two promises that were made between the two friends.
During the fourth year of their friendship Sue was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. The other woman spent hours by her bedside each day with a growing sense of disbelief that any God would be so cruel as to take the life of a young mother away from her family and those she loved. The woman began to question God, religion, her beliefs and in her a harsh and bitter resentment grew.
During Sue's last week of life, Sue told the woman that she was very upset with the woman's anomosities and resentments toward, God, faith, religion, and spirituality in general. She made it clear that these sentiments the woman now held were deeply hurting her. Sue looked sternly and directly in that woman's eyes and proclaimed that there was a rhyme and reason behind all events in one's life and she believed there was more to life than just the physical plane of existence. She knew she had a path to follow and a destiny laid out before her and that her cancer was just a small piece of a much larger picture. She accepted this as truth and wanted the women to accept it as well.
She asked the woman to believe her, under the condition they both make two promises-one to each other. Sue promised the woman that after she died she would show the woman a sign of other infinite possibilities, a sign that would forever allow the woman to believe in something again and find a comforting joy in the mystery of life. She told the lady that you find ulitmate meaning in life when given something to believe in and it was important for the woman to know that as truth.
The woman was skeptical but agreed and inquired about the promise she was to make to Sue. Sue took the woman's hand and told her that she simply wanted the woman to promise her that she would live her life to her fullest potential, be a wonderful mother, a loving wife, find joy in everything she was to do, and most importantly she wanted her to promise she would get a breast exam anually every year.
The woman laughed uncomfortably and stated she didn't see why that last part was necessary because there was no history of cancer of any kind in her family. Sue adamently demanded that it was neccessary and told her she was going to do it without question. Sue handed the woman a beautiful glass christmas ornament she had made and said she made one for each of ther friends during the time she spent bedridden. Her final words, "I want you to think of me and remember the promises we made each year you decorate your christmas tree and know that I love you dearly and will cherish your friendship forever, whatever forever maybe, and don't forget to look for the signs I will send you, I promise."

Sue died three days later and on the morning of that very day the other woman had come down the stairs into her family room to find her 8 year old Christmas Cactus to be with a single bloom. The woman in her heart of hearts knew that her beloved friend must have passed. The plant had never flowered once in all the previous 8 years the woman had owned it and the plant would continued to bare a single flower on each day a loved one would pass, including the family dog, the woman took this to be a sign from her friend. Coincidence? I am not so inclined to believe which brings me on to the next promise made between the two women.....

Two days after a certain Thanksgiving the woman, now much older, was decorating the Christmas tree with her family. This family had a long standing tradition of picking out a tree a and decorating it during the Thanksgivng holiday week. The woman happened upon the beautiful glass ornament Sue made and upon touching it began crying hysterically. Her daughter, who was home from college that week for the holiday, having never seen her mother cry so hard, took her own mother in her arms to comfort her, begging her to tell her what was wrong.

The woman between gasps of breathes began repeating over and over again, that she had never kept her promise she made with Sue. Her daughter, husband, and son had no idea what the woman was talking about but her husband assured her that whatever promise she had made to her friend it wasn't too late to keep it. Two weeks before Christmas the woman went to the doctors for a breast exam, where it was discovered she had breast cancer. The doctors told her she was extremely lucky she came when she did because it was an early detection and therefore her chances of recovering were excellent. The doctor inquired about what had motivated her to come in since women without family histories of cancer were less likely to come in. She reponded, "I made a promise a long time ago and I intend to keep it."

The woman had a lumpectomy along with lymph node dissection and year long radiation therapy. The woman is now nearly 9 years in remission and I couldn't be happier, for this woman is my mother and her story is true. Choose to believe or not, Perhaps it is all coincidence, perhaps not. That is the beauty of the mystery of life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Waiting Game & Finding Love

Our society is fast paced and goal orientated and love does suffer because of this. The pace continues to quicken as technology aids in advancing our lifestyle. Divorce rates are high and growing exponentially and our children are suffering because of this. We are far too quick with our decision making which makes us highly impulsive, especially when it comes to falling in love. The vast majority of us only knows lust and do not know how to be in love. We have been condition to believe that we “fall” in love, get married, and start a family. This conditioning along with our fast-paced goal orientated lifestyle has become a deep seeded evil in our quest to find a deeply loving and meaningful relationship with someone. Our life-style is suffocating the love out of us and has turned us into people who only know how to “do” in love and not “be” in love!

We are all not so different, as humans we share an existence that is similar. We are born into the word and spend a lifetime pursuing truth. During this pursuit we make astonishing discoveries about ourselves, others, human nature, and life. We are desperately trying to figure out the meaning of our lives. What are we suppose to be doing with the limited amount of time we have in this body to accomplish what it is that we need to accomplish? Some of us know exactly what it is that we want to accomplish, while others become the wanderers drifting along for awhile before they find their niche- some never do find it. I have come to consider myself a wanderer and see no shame in it, perhaps I am drifting the right way, perhaps not, but it is a chance I am willing to take.

Just as there is a quest to discovering life there is also a quest to discovering love. Some of us get a lucky break and find true love right off. Some of us find ourselves “impulsively” settling with what we have even though it is not what we need or truly want, but we settle anyways. Some of us never give up hope and continue through a lifetime trying to find that “one”. It is a journey and for some it is never found, not during this lifetime that is the way fate can play its hand. It is what it is. My truth in this matter is that I know I have not found what I am looking for and I am not willing to settle until I know for sure.

Sure I would like to have a family but at what cost? Do I settle with someone I am not entirely happy with just to have children? Surely not, because it would not be fair to my children and it would not be fair to my partner. I firmly believe that too many young people jump into the throws of lust and desire, get married, have kids, and then separate because it has become an impulsive choice influenced by an impulsive world. I have many friends who married in their early to mid twenties, had some children and are now divorced. In conversation with them I often learn that they felt like the “had” to get married because that is what society and “religious dogma” tells them.

If I had I gotten married in my mid twenties I know I would be in the same place many of my friends are in now. Honestly, there was a point in time where I considered marrying my first long term boyfriend because I too, thought it was what I suppose to do. I am so glad that possibility never came to fruition. Too many women and men think this is what they are suppose to do; they get married, become the “good wife” or “good husband”, and start a family. It had always been like this, it has been programmed in us, but times have changed, no longer are we living the “Leave It to Beaver” lifestyle- that lifestyle died out not long after the sitcom.

Cost of living has increased exuberantly and this now means starting a family is a huge financial undertaking, and as we all know, money and finance combine to be one of the main forces of destruction in a marriage. We have not changed our thinking and perspectives to this realization and many people continue to pursue a family lifestyle that just doesn’t exist for the vast population (unless you are made of money). Many mothers would love to have the option of being a stay at home mom, but realty dishes up a cruel taste of needing a second income to maintain a “normal” lifestyle- to be able to give your kids what they need. Husbands and wives around the world are making enormous sacrifices for their kids, sometimes at a detriment to themselves and their relationship. This creates discord, resentment, and often, chaos and destruction in a marriage.

Few men I know were ever ready to have a family back in their twenties and the ones who thought they were are now divorced facing the bitter reality that they have now found their life partner but are “stuck” with past commitments. I know that sounds horrible but I understand the resentment completely. During a recent conversation with a friend of mine told me that no matter how much he loves his children with his first wife, he still wishes he never settled and married especially when he knew she wasn’t the “one” for him. Now he has found the “one” and is happier than ever and even expecting a child with her, but still harbors a deep resentment about his first marriage and guilt over being a distant father with his first kids. I personally do not want to ever know what that feels like. We can judge someone all we want, but truth is we never know what that person is experiencing on a personal level.

I am glad that I did not get married young and I am glad I am not a parent yet. I know for certain now that I was not mature enough at that time for that decision. People are living longer healthier lives (for the most part) and some say thirty has become the new twenty, so with this perspective I know what it is that I am looking for now. I have been in my fair share of relationships to ascertain what it is that I need. I also am mature enough to understand that I have yet to know what love is. I have learned that you can love someone while not being “in love”. I know few people who have been successful “in love”. I have written before about my aunt and uncle and their love, each truly believing that they are each others’ soul mate. When you are around them you can feel the love between them. Love that is pure and innocent is something many of us have not found yet and many of us never will. Love is very hard to find and that is a certain truth that none of us should ever be blind to. Don’t settle on impulse and lust, wait and you will see, hopefully if you are a lucky one, what it is like to truly know love.

Tell Me What It Is
Come--tell me what love is.
Love--that fickle idea of man--
That eludes and escapes those who wish to define it.
Love is the rainbow at the storms end.
The final chord in the grand syphony.
The unwritten stanza that can communicate a message--
It is the finale to the fireworks on the Fourth of July--
Another Riddle of the Sphinx,
and always--eternally--Life's greatest mystery.
Unexpected, unpredictable--and bringer of joy or--
You are the complete of the puzzle-- And the puzzle itself.
Come--tell me what love is--
and tell my heart why it tears itself from my grasp...
And mourn with me that the colors and notes have faded away--

before I could find some paper.