Posts Tagged ‘Ann Patchett’

Being Willing To Take The Hand That’s Leading Me.

Reading a novel by the exquisite writer Ann Patchett allows me to take her hand and go where she goes. It’s easy to decide, even in the first few pages, that I’m on board and can trust her guidance.

On page one of “State of Wonder” Ann writes: “When she saw him there at the door she smiled at him and in the light of that smile he faltered.”

Her simple words give reason enough to connect with this man and this woman, and now I’m standing in the light of that smile, too.

I see these two, I feel their appreciation for each other, their tenderness, and for just a moment, I’m there in the doorway, because of what Ann said.

She invited me into this private moment, into soft-hearted appreciation. She invited me to remember the moment I was in my own kitchen, and Eric in the doorway, when I smiled at him and he faltered. She invited me to remember the beginning of when Eric and I decided to be together.

Too, Ann wrote “in the light of that smile” — and I faltered about her writing. I softened. I gave her my hand, willingly, and said take me with you. 

Partway down page one, I’m all hers, all in.

The morning view from my great room, deck or even my bedroom is the kind of view that causes this same kind of heart moment. The blue mountains in the distance, the mist in the valley, the sun rising — all of these give spaciousness to my being, and I awaken in awe, every single day.

This only happens, though, because I have given my hand to Mother Nature to say please lead me to wherever you’re going.

She says, “Good Morning, come with me, let me show you this day… ” and I follow, because I know her and enjoy her surprises.

ON THE OTHER HAND

Over the years, I have come to know that resisting (anything, anyone) is hard work. It’s hard on every part of me.

Resistance was my specialty for many years, however, because somehow I thought being firmly decided made me a better person. Even knowing the cost of resisting, I can’t say I’ve abandoned it altogether. It’s an old habit.

But when Eric passed, something happened to me that I don’t understand fully, and for all I know, may never understand.

I can only say, these days, it is easier for me to offer my hand when I’m being lead.

Life is inviting me to do things I’ve never done before. I figured out how to get a French drain installed in front of the garage (what in the world is a French drain and why should I have one?) and how to replace a laundry sink with a kitchen sink cabinet. I found someone to fix  a serious roof leak on a Sunday in pouring rain. 

Since Eric passed, I’ve been invited to walk forward more often in ways I never did in the past. And I’m more willing. It’s like this: instead of railing against the cold wind, the gray day, or ice, I’m more willing to falter in the direction of cozy jackets, hot tea, or warm soup.

Even if I’m afraid of something, or worried, or tentative, I’ve found the hand of fear isn’t so bad after all.

I walk forward, I look around, I feel what I’m feeling. Since I’m there, like it or not, holding hands with fear, I figure I might as well notice the scenery.

I might as well walk with, rather than run from — welcome rather than reject. It’s easier on me.

However.

This is a process. Does one still blurt when over the edge? Does one unravel when one is in complete non-acceptance?

Sure. Yes. Absolutely.

I did it just the other day. A hand was leading me and I didn’t go. I blurted. I sobbed. I was beside myself.

A deeply compassionate woman listened to me with the kind of ears you can only hope for when you’re upset, the kind that hear the river of love and acceptance running under everything.

So yes, without a doubt, learning to take the hand that’s leading is a process.

Take your time. Shift gears whenever you can, and when you can’t, do what you gotta do.

Nobody that I recall ever said a Capricorn is speedy. Being goats and all, we’re agile and surefooted and willing to navigate steep slopes, whatever they may be. But we’re not exactly leaping about on the mountainside.

Finally, at last, just in time, right on time — I’m learning to offer my hand to whatever or whoever is leading me on the side of that mountain to where I’m going anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

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Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

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Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Sometimes we ask intimate partners to do for us what is actually ours to do.

We ask our partner to give us the reassurance, love or appreciation we feel is missing in ourselves, with the hope that they will give us what we’re asking for—and then we’ll feel better. They’ll take care of our problem.

But when they do give us what we’re asking for, it can never be enough, because we have insufficient context for what they’ve given. We haven’t build the inner foundation to receive it, hear it, welcome it, believe it. They try to help, but their love for us falls into our void, our black hole, our love bucket with no bottom.

As always, there’s hope. Check out the video below.

Terri Crosby. http://www.incareofrelationships.com/.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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Terri Crosby

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