Little Blogs 2

I have been noticing an increase of worry and anxiety, not only in the world, but in myself, and I have begun to wonder how the two might be related. Just now, I saw on my passing computer screen that ISIS is now threatening to kill Prince George while he is at school. Immediately my heart began to beat faster - this is the first time I noticed this - and I found myself compelled to click on that headline and see what this really says.

I could read the piece, but really I need to read myself. What is this sudden escalation of anxiety about something that might or might not happen? And if it does happen, it will be heartbreaking indeed, and perhaps the cause of widespread consequences. But it has not happened yet, and it is the threat of it that sends those ripples of anxiety out into the world. I expect the same is happening with many things I see even in passing, but this morning's moment stopped me in my tracks.

Recognizing the sudden escalation of anxiety from reading something that I didn't even seek out - this is a turning point of recognition for me. I have been seeing the need for more pausing, more frequently, throughout the day, simply to notice and settle into a more peaceful inner state. This moment gave me that opportunity...but it also alerted me to how frequently, in today's world, this practice of the pause might be more helpful than I realized.

"What a strange and ordinary topic!" you might say! "Of course I send cards through the mail!" But I know from my younger family members and those of others that this practice is dying out quickly.  All the more, then, am I drawn to send out more, especially as Christmas approaches.

I am finding the necessity of finding stamps, return address stickers, addressing envelopes, choosing a card and then pondering what to write on a card - all a slowing and necessarily thought-provoking practice. The part of me that sends/receives God knows how many emails a day, loves to post on Facebook and google answers to every immediate question that arises, knowing I will receive an immediate response ---these parts of me arise with hurry and impatience! I feel the inner push. All the more then, do I try to pause and be present in this moment to the task at hand.

Often it isn't at all easy until I let go of the niggling impatience and focus attention on the person to whom I am sending this card. That's what relieves the pushing pressure. When that person appears, I find an immediacy of presence, so that what I want and need to say to that person comes into my pen, into my hand, flowing from who that person is for me, and what I want to say to him or her in this moment.

Writing cards has now become for me a gift of grace, a moment of connection with that wide circle of friends and family I have been gifted with over a long lifetime. I am blessed in the sending. Oh...and did I say I make cards also?

 

For the first two weeks of September I traveled Ireland with longtime friends who invited me to simply say where I wanted to go and they would organize it and take me there, They did! It was deeply rich, and it will take me more time than I realized to allow the layers to come to articulation. When it is right, I will share more here.

One of our conversations stays with me. It regarded the number of stone ruins that cover the landscape - mainly Abbeys and Castles, and though I had seen many of them before, I felt a deeper connection on this trip, some kind of ancient presences as I walked among them.

But my guides were amazed at this. In our conversations they noted a few times in different ways,  "but I see them everyday, and everywhere I turn. I suppose I no longer see them at all!" Of course that would be the way...when in NL I discover it all over again when I show it to visitors.

Since returning home, I have become more conscious of my own living place. What am I so accustomed to seeing that I no longer see? What beauty all around me am I missing? What layers of beauty and presence are already there, asking only my attention to be seen and to give amazement?

During the last two weeks of July I was present at the Chapter (decisionmaking meeting for those unfamiliar with this term) of my own community, the Sisters of Mercy of NL and Labrador. Our facilitator was Judith King, a young Irish woman with sharp and helpful skills. Here is the verse she kept bringing us back to:

What we choose changes us

Who we love transforms us

How we create remakes us

Where we live reshapes us.

I have made this a mantra in my own life since then and it has already affected many of my days. I have it written where I won't miss it and I connect with its words as often as I can, because it reminds me - now, after 70 - that neither choice, nor love, nor creating nor reshaping has unlimited time for unfolding.

This summer has not only seemed to pass quickly, but the world seems more crowded than ever. Perhaps it's TIME that seems more crowded than ever, and perhaps that's because I turned 70 in June. I think of my Aunt Bride, nearly 90, who has been saying to me for a few years "It's Monday and then suddenly it's Friday!" I feel a bit like that this summer!

So I examine my relationship with time, and it has led me to a deeper interior practice of taking myself into the present moment throughout the day. It Is not easy. And yet, I am pulled and fascinated by the moments offered to me by this simple intentional shifting of attention, a dropping into, a kind of coming back to reality. Now.

And so when I came across this quote from Mary Oliver, I felt and understood it immediately:

       The Old Poets of China

Wherever I am the world comes after me.

It offers me busyness. It does not believe

that I do not want it. Now I understand

why the old poets of China went so far and high

into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.

If I cannot be an old poet of China, I am indeed glad to resonate with Mary Oliver.

 

Latest comments

24.10 | 21:40

and you have gifted me with cards that were like visits!!

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24.10 | 14:12

Backwards Time. It is possible. I'm happy for your discovery – lovely to have your strong self around – and your message of encouragement!

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16.10 | 15:44

I live among trees. A Heart's Mirror really spoke to me. Especially the last paragraphs and the final idea of "companion of the heart". Lovely, profound,true!

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28.08 | 14:51

Thanks Judy...the overwhelming moment does call me to a deeper listening and surrender...

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