Monday, September 24, 2012

Sometimes, I am amazed...

I have been struggling for a while now, with some decisions, as everyone does.  Sometimes, I am amazed at how seemingly random quotes read on Facebook walls are simply not random at all.  Here is what I read today, from "Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives."

The Lord looks at the inner depth of the heart, at what the heart longs for and what it desires. And if He sees that a soul cannot come home, the Lord will in His own time, cleanse it and draw it to the center and the soul will find peace. However, if in the innermost part of the heart there is something unclean, something that is attracted to this world and is bound to it, then our wandering wi
ll last a long time and we will endure much sorrow and suffering. We who are, so to speak, pious, will have more sorrow than those who are not. This is because they do not feel inner pain, they give thought not to eternity but only to things of this world: enjoyment, food, drink….Their attention is entirely focused on this, whereas ours is divided: we want to be with the Lord, yet we have not let go of material things; our heart is still attached to them and we are not free. It is for this reason that we suffer a lot.

~Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

That's me.  I have a foot in both camps, and simply cannot make a firm decision one way or the other.  Someone I know has said to me on a number of occasions, you cannot ride two horses, yet that is what I'm attempting to do, and the effort has, indeed, bruised me.  I have endured much sorrow and suffering.

Much to think and pray about in this quote.  Maybe I'll read the book.  Maybe not.  Maybe I'm not quite ready for this amount of truth.

At least not today.  Maybe next week when I'm focussed on iconography with my teacher, Ksenia, who has so much to teach me, some of which is about iconography.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Birthday Musings with the sisters of my heart

Dear Ro and Ethel,

Thanks for the Birthday greetings!  I had a great day today.  I had a couple of hours of comp time, so I went into work late, left early, and had a really long lunch.  My work friends gave me a funny card and a cupcake.  Elisabeth telephoned me to sing Happy Birthday, as did one of my goddaughters.  I had some cards in my mail the last few days which is always nice, and my friend Cindy took me to dinner the other night since she is busy tonight.  Tonight I went to dinner with a group of friends to a Mexican restaurant where I drank two giant margaritas, ate up a STORM, and had the cute waiters sing to me in heavily accented Spanglish.  They don't give you a free birthday dessert at that restaurant - they make you wear a giant black and silver sombrero and drink a shot of tequila.  When I got home, I checked my email and found your birthday wishes and some others, and a ton of birthday wishes on Facebook.  I'm a lucky woman.

I was thinking about the night I was born. When I was little, I used to pester my mother to tell me the story of when I was born, and Elisabeth did the same to me.  Mama always told the story the same way, about how happy everyone was.  But it wasn't all happiness, it was a scary night, wasn't it?  Who knew if we would live or die? Now that I'm a mother, I understand how my own mother felt, since our stories mirror each other so much.  I was a late in life, miracle baby to a mother who was never supposed to get pregnant.  I know first-hand how happy my parents were, partly because I experienced it, and partly because my father, when the Alzheimers took away any semblance of restraint, told me endlessly how happy he was to have a baby, and how it made their somewhat rocky marriage so much stronger, and how he felt when he saw me for the first time.  I also went through a period in pregnancy (and also later), when it was touch and go and could have lost Elisabeth.  I remember how that felt, and I realized that my mother must have felt those exact things the night I was born.  I know I was a caesarian birth because my mother was hemorrhaging from a placenta previa, and we both could easily have died.  I know how my father must have felt, driving down from NH, not knowing what would greet him when he made it to the hospital. 

I'm not saying this to be a downer, but instead to say, at the ripe old age of 57, I realize that there is nothing new in the world, and that everything that happens to me has happened before to someone else, oftentimes to someone that I know and love.  Those things that have brought me to my knees have been born by others.  I was thinking about that tonight - maybe it was the slight buzz I had - and I just wanted to say to you both that I love you so very much, and I respect that you are both strong women who have been my biggest cheerleaders all my life.   We are cousins, yes, and I grew up in your house and bugged the crap out of you as a kid, but the strands that bind us are more than a shared gene pool - we have all been parented by women who have been through the wringer, and we have been through the wringer ourselves, and we live to tell the tale.  We are survivors. Wow.  I'm impressed, truly.  So, before I call it a night and get in bed, I'm having a little nightcap with toast to you.  

To my beautiful big cousins!

Love you,