Friday, December 30, 2011

Come Walk With Me

Each day, I am treated to several ever changing views of the San Clemente Pier but mostly from a couple of nautical miles away from my front yard.  The view is spectacular.  Yesterday, I had the sudden urge to change perspectives(a possible sign of things to come?) so I called Mark and invited him to take a stroll with me down on the pier.  The sun was still fairly high in the sky when we arrived and the well worn, sea-beaten wooden slats below our feet were pulsating with the vibrations of life being lived.  It felt so good to be out in the open air.
It felt good to be among a random group of people in which everyone seemed calm.  No set agenda, no pressure to maneuver beyond the ultimate speed of light and sound, only some moments spent doing nothing more than taking in a day that was much too beautiful to miss.  Lord knows how much I have craved this pace.  December took its toll on me.  It always does.  Repetitive music everywhere makes it very difficult to focus on anything other than jumpy rhythms and musical arrangements on speed.  For me, it is all overstimulation to the max.  To a body that is chronically riddled with pain, it is far too much to metabolize.  I spent a good portion of the month hibernating and staving off situational depression.  There are times when it is all too much and the very best thing that I can do is to be honest with myself and hide...
But yesterday was about reconnecting with the world in a more peaceful and tolerable way.  It was about taking on a reasonable pace.  It was about absorbing a different kind of energy.  It was about quieting the hermit-crab inside of my body(I am a Cancer baby, born in July when the world seems to be at its most relaxed) while sticking my head out of my shell to peek around and signal that it is really okay to come out.
And what better place to free myself from my self-imposed hibernation than the place that has become more home to me than anyplace else I have ever known in my entire life.  A place in which animal, fish, bird, and human can coexist most peacefully in unison with one another because we are all living by the rhythm of the sea.  A place that has beckoned to me from as far back as I can remember, only I could not make out the exact name of it until recently.  A place that will soon become our permanent home because I never want to be far away from here.  Yes, I am New York city born and raised and if you listen carefully and are very good with picking up dialects, you will quickly realize that I am a transplant.
But sometimes, the soul can lead you on a long and somewhat winding journey to your home.  And when you finally arrive there, you just know it.  You just know it.

May the coming year bring you closer to home and if you are already there, may it bring you even closer to your home.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy, Happy

As the sun sets on this gorgeous California day, I can somehow feel the buzz of anticipation that so many Christian children(and adults who were once children) around the world must be feeling right now.  Santa, reindeers, bright lights and cookies, but nothing more important than the day that many people believe that Jesus Christ was born.  I have to believe that if I were Christian, to me, this would be the most important reason for celebration and contemplation of all.  And in that, there is a quiet amongst the chaos, a peacefulness beyond the stressed-out crowds, and a spirituality well above the glitz.

To my Christian friends, may you basque in the light that is radiated from the love that you feel from your family, your friends and your God.  I wish for you moments of quiet introspection.  I wish for you moments of deep gratitude as there is almost nothing that feels as good as being grateful for the lives that we have.

To my Jewish friends, may you bathe in the warmth of the Menorah lights as you rekindle old memories and build new ones with those who you love.

And to those who share in any beliefs other than Christianity or Judaism, I wish you the blessing that we are all much more alike than we are different.  So much more alike...

Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas Eve, and a very happy and healthy New Year to all.

With so much love,
Deb(Four Angels Momma-most days)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Homes Have Eyes

Somewhere in Mission Viejo, CA
There are just too many ways to make fun of this garish display of excess in action.  There is even music being blasted out of loud speakers to accompany the display.  I must say that if I lived anywhere in the nearby vicinity of this home, no jury would convict me for what I might do come December 30th, so thank goodness I do not.  It is kind of cool to look at once or twice and it definitely proves who has the biggest one on the block, but still, in some ways all I can do is stare at it and think about what the people who live inside of this house must be really feeling.(Sorry, balebusta, darling, about the psych reference;)  Just had to.)  Mark and I went out to dinner with Angel Daughters Three and Four last night, and afterwards, they insisted on driving us past this well-lit home.  Somehow, I am positive that almost every neighborhood in America must have a home or several similar to this one, but witnessing this up close and personal really made me think about this time of the year and the amount of excess that takes place in the face of all of the inner-sadness and longing that so many individuals are experiencing right now.  A happy veneer in the face of spending far more money than people should be spending at a time of year when the weather is colder, the days are shorter so that daylight and vitamin D are in scarce supply, and we are expected to walk around humming happy little tunes about a fat man, jingling bells and other assorted merriments over sung by way too many covers.  Should I just say bah-humbug and get it over with now?
What I guess I am really trying to say is this.  I get it.  For several weeks now, I have been coping with increased physical pain which becomes increased emotional pain which then becomes a longing for what I have lost.  And then, I look around at everything all wrapped up in its bright, shiny packaging to wonder why I am feeling so blue.  Why there seems to be an underlying tone of sadness in so many of the people who I come across on a daily basis, and even in the blogs that I read.  
San Clemente Pier
In many ways, this photo that I took several months ago, more accurately depicts the inner turmoil that is churned up during these winter months than the overabundance of colored lights and catchy tunes playing round and round wherever we go.  It can be absolutely dizzying.  Some of it might be caused by the forced cheer that we are supposed to pretend is real even if we aren't really feeling it, but what I truly believe is that this time of year causes a deep longing for those whom we miss.  The people who we love who are no longer here to share life alongside of us.  The memories of people we have loved and lost.  It's very difficult, especially if some of the people who you loved the most are no longer around.  And there are so many reminders.  So many reminders.  For me, this year at Chanukah will mark the fourth year since I last spent time with my brother while he was alive.  The last time that I felt his chin resting on the top of my head as he embraced me in one of his big bear hugs.  The last time that we laughed out loud together.  The last time that we sat back and watched as our six daughters played together like a room full of miracles.  I will never forget the last gift that I gave him, Steve Martin's biography, Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life.  I wonder if he even had the chance to read it before he died.  I loved to make him laugh.
For everyone else who might be struggling with the pain of loss during this time of the year;

I send you peace.  And love.  Lots and lots of love.

And I pray that for every moment of grief that you might feel, you also feel a moment of gratitude for all that you still do have.  For the people who you can still hug, for the time that you can still spend, for the laughter that you can still share.  For every memory, I hope that you will be able to create a new one with the people who are still here.  The people who love on you, the people who encourage you, the people who support you, the people who lift you up.  It is so important to remember that if we put too much focus on what we have lost, we also lose sight of what is standing squarely right in front of us.

So tonight, go take a ride in the car with some people that you love.  See if you can find the most ostentatious house in the neighborhood and when you do, go ahead and send me a picture of yourself standing right in front of it.(We can have a contest to see whose is bigger!)  I promise to post it here.  Because you are a part of my now, as I hope that I am a part of yours.  And this is how it should be.  If we cannot make one another smile, then what the heck else is there?

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