July 7, 2010 So many lessons
July 9, 2010

July 8, 2010 Flashes of Insight

  LettingGo2

I've tried to understand why my writing seems to stutter.  Why I can have a flash of insight when I'm in the bathtub and by the time the water has left my skin, the insight has left my head.  Why I can have a moment of intense clarity while I'm driving and by the time I pull over and find a pen and scrap of paper, the clouds have already started to form.  Why making beds or scrubbing floors or cleaning blinds allows my mind to settle into an easy rhythm that gently moves with understanding and acceptance  but I sit down to my computer and once again I'm lost.

Watching an old episode of Grey's Anatomy, I heard a song.  A sweet gentle melody that played softly behind the unfolding of both the agony of rejection and disappointment and the comfort of reunion and self sacrifice.  The line, "all we can do is keep breathing"... played over and over again and I realized how true and unwavering those seven words are.  Naturally I googled the song, "Keep Breathing" by Ingrid Michaelson. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk6bVJVhHzc)

The storm is coming
But I don't mind
People are dying
I close my blinds
All that I know is I'm breathing now
I want to change the world...
Instead I sleep
I want to believe in more than you and me
But all that I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
Now.....now.....now.....now.....
All that I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
now...

So as I was folding clothes, feeling the Downy softness of the clean white towels, taking particular notice of the ragged lace waist band of my "Granny Panties",  grateful that the clothing in the drier belongs to two people instead of one, and trying to keep Helen and Izzy out of the clothes basket, when I realized that the place that I have to go to write what really matters to me, the part of life that makes me who I am, the part that I try so hard to hide or keep tucked away... is an intensely vulnerable place.   When I'm driving or cleaning or bathing... there is just me.  I don't have to "be" any way at all for anyone but me.  I'm not locking the box of my heart's memories or desires, I'm not trying to put on the face that you will be comfortable with.  I can cry if I want or laugh or dance or sing or .... yes there it is... write ~

Every now and then when we stop moving long enough to let what's drifting through our souls float to the surface, we touch what is real, what is meaningful and what sustains us.  We may be changed by what we find, we may have to hide for a while to allow the new soft shell to harden, we may have to suppress the desire to run naked through the rain... but we will be better for the moment.

Shannon's life fills the deepest and most precious spaces of my heart and soul.  There is more joy in those spaces than most people will ever experience... but there is also the deepest ache... and so I keep breathing.  I don't want to miss summer's heat or winter's cold, I don't want to leave this life with the regret that I let the sadness overshadow the joys.  I want to revisit her life, her becoming, her wisdom, her compassion and fury, her tenderness and wit, her contribution to life on the planet... with objectivity.  I want to introduce her to a world that didn't get the opportunity and I want to help her fulfill her wish... to "make a difference". 

My flash of insight is that I can't protect you from the sadness of loss.  I have to trust you to accept as much of the gift as you can and allow it to touch you in a meaningful way.  I have to be authentic and unafraid and know that in every minute of every day we all just have to keep breathing.  I don't want to close the blinds to anyone.  I want to celebrate the "You and Me" of our journey.  I take immense comfort in all of those tiny details that connect us and keep us from being separate and alone.  In the last few weeks I have realized more and more that we are far more alike than different, and if I am worried about something, be it large or small, someone else is feeling the same concerns.  I don't write about my life because I am narcissistic, I write about my life because you understand, and feel so many of the same things and somehow we will make it together... all we can do is keep breathing !

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