It was a sunny day
and I went to the park
and sat on a bench. I was
one of many coming out
from under our rocks
to warm and lengthen.

He was two benches down,
a gentle older man
staring off into the place
between things, beyond
any simple past, staring
into the beginning or the end,
it was hard to say.

When he came up
our eyes met
and he knew I’d seen him
journey there and back.

There was no point in looking away.
And so, he shuffled over
and sat beside me. The sun
moved behind the one cloud
and he finally said
in half a quiver, “How
can we go there together?”

I searched my small mind
for an answer. At this,
he looked away and the sun came out
and I realized this is what the lonely
sages of China were talking about,
what the moon has whispered
before turning full for centuries,
what dancers leap for, what violinists
dream after fevering their last note.

But I was awkward and unsure.
He stared, as if to search my will,
and after several minutes,
he just patted my knee
and left.

I watched him
darken and brighten in the sun,
and vowed to look
in the folds of every cry
for a way through,
and hope someday
to meet him there.
~Mark Nepo

Looking For My Tribe….

My Heart sit only with those
who know and understand you.
Be with those who help your being.

Oh the heart like a whale has no choice but to surface. Or we die. And having surfaced, we all must dive. Or we die.  And more than books or flowers or thoughtful gifts that show I know you, the dearest thing I can give is to surface with the sheen of my spirit before you.  And so I look for the truest friendships, watching the deep for spirits to surface all wet with soul.
~Mark Nepo

I was watching TV a few weeks back; Oprah’s Master Class. This particular episode had world-renowned surfer, Laird Hamilton on the show, and he said something that has really stayed with me.  He said, “You have to find your tribe”.  By that he meant, you have to search out the people you belong with.  It struck me so strongly because, for such a long time now, I have felt so out of synch with most of the people I know.  My circumstances have altered my life, altered me really, and as a result I’ve watched most of my friends sort of drift off, with me all the while blaming my peculiar situation for the distance. But that explanation always felt wrong somehow, too simple, too narrow, and now I know it’s because it’s more profound than that.  Thanks to Laird, I now understand that it’s because we no longer belong to one another.  No longer speak the same language. In his words, no longer belong to the same tribe.

Some life experiences just change you.  They do, even if you don’t want them to. My life experiences forced me to find a new way of being in my body and in the world.  For me, it was either adapt (transform) or die.  So I set out on a new path and although I never intended to wander off on my own or leave anyone behind, I see now that’s exactly what happened.

And since there is no going back, I must wander ahead and search out a new tribe; like-minded souls I might journey through time with.  To aid me, I’ve decided to borrow an ancient ritual from the nomadic peoples of old.  Something I first learned about in Mark Nepo’s book, Facing the Lion, Being the Lion. He writes, “For the Bedouins and gypsies the custom of reaching out and befriending one another began with three simple questions: Who are you? Where are you from?  Where are you in your journey?” And I think that’s about as good a way to start as any.

From a Distance

Living in time and space, Michelle, just might be the scariest, most heartbreaking, and lonely path an angel could ever choose.

Until, of course, they realize that being scared doesn’t mean they can’t make a difference, broken hearts can still love just fine, and that feeling lonely doesn’t mean they’re actually alone.

Then they’ll laugh an angel laugh, fluff their wings, and dare a new dare all over again.

Love your halo,
The Universe **

The Obstacle is the path.
~ Zen Proverb

One of the worst things about this illness is the isolation.  The almost inevitable disconnect that happens with family and friends when you can’t interact and participate in each others lives.  I’ve really been feeling that lately. That sense of being lost and left behind.  Martha Beck says that, “Isolation creates indescribable despair.”   She’s right.

Most days I really don’t feel well enough to bother with being lonely.  But sometimes, late into the night, when my energy sparks just a little, I can’t help but think of the people in my life – or more accurately, the people who used to be in my life, and wish them all back.  I love mostly from a distance now.  I guess they do the same.  At least I like to think so.

I’ve often asked God in my prayers to teach me to love, and recently, I’ve begun to wonder if He isn’t trying to do just that.  (insert cliche here…you know the one: Be careful what you ask for) In  the best of circumstances, love is a giving and receiving, a mutual exchange, a dance of sorts.  I know how to do that one.  The one I struggle with now, the one I think God’s trying to teach me about, is a more selfless love.  The kind you give without any expectation of return or reward.  That kind of love requires courage and a faithful heart because it can sometimes feel bleak and raw.  You feel exposed somehow offering up your heart that way, dancing all alone.  Still, I offer it. I dance, hoping that I’ll find a new rhythm, and get lost in the act itself, the sheer joy of it, no longer bothering to recall if I’ve had too many partners or too few.  Understanding at last, that when you love, you can never really be alone.  You become as Kahlil Gibran says, “A fragment of Life’s heart.”  And that no distance can ever be too great.

**Taken from an email message I received from: Notes From The Universe **