Musings From the Middle

Hands

Hands folded in prayer

Clinging to one another for strength

Rubbed together producing tangible tingling energy

Clapping to express appreciation and encore

Wringing to dispel anxiety

Clenched in anger

Hand resting on hand…gentle resting embrace

Touching, tapping finger to finger in contemplative thought

The church and the steeple; open up and here are the people

Fingers curled pulling against each other strengthening

Clasped, palpable center circular energy flow

Outstretched to the sun

My Hands

of me, for me, and to me.

Now I to open to another

A handshake

A hug

A wave

A Namaste’ bow

A caress

Being one in circle

My Hands

Cupping   Receiving


Raspberries

Someone brought a beautiful tray of fruit.  Daddy spotted the raspberries, grinned and reached for a bowl…”Jodie will love these”… horror stricken, he remembered.             -the morning after my mother’s death


Sunday Services

Sunday Service

That’s where many of you will be found this morning, this day of rest, this day set aside to worship.

What does it mean to worship?  Is it to bow prostrate with ‘mea culpa’s?  Is it to gather with like-minded folks for some spiritual dusting off?  Is it to learn?  Is it  tradition: what we’ve always done as our parents before us and before them?  Is it guilt?  Is it need?  Is it to give?

Why do we even feel drawn to gather?

Could it be service?  Could it be that the deepest of human needs, human longings is to simply connect?  Could it be the gathering together in recognition of the greatness in us, the little piece of God we are yearning to support and be supported by the blessedness in each other?

Sunday Service.  Today let us honor that most basic and beautiful and bountiful call… to be of service and to graciously accept service.

Sunday Service.   What is Sunday Service for you??


Touched or Moved

It is 5:30 in the morning and I am watching Extreme Makeover.  Fifteen minutes into the program and I am on my third Kleenex.  I am touched.  The mother of three lost her policeman husband. In her grief, she reached out to others in their loss.  I am touched.  Her home is beyond repair from termite infestation.  I am saddened.  She asks for help; I am touched.  The daughters are talented, joyous girls; I am touched.  No bitterness lives here; I am touched.  All four of the women are grateful huggers; I am touched.  The town, the volunteers come en masse; I am touched.

Ask and ye shall receive.  She asked and was heard and is receiving.  I am touched.

I am and always have been easily touched.  In days gone by I tried to hide it as it embarrassed others.  I now own my tenderness.

A tender heart is a beginning.  But to stop there is lip service of the worst kind.  What we understand, what we know, what is revealed to us is our responsibility to act upon.  Are we just putting these encounters into a tidy file-folder and ignoring them? And if so, is the folder bursting at the seams, calling to you to deal with the untidy mess of accumulated emotion?

I am pulling my folder out.  The only order to make of it is action.  Examination of it shows a pattern…what tugs at my heart?  Where is my passion?  What talent do I have to give in remedy of these needs?

When we encounter a need in the world, do we sympathize at a safe distance?

Or are we moved by compassion into action?

Ladies and gentlemen it is time to move.


This Is the Day

This is the day.  This is a holy day.

Suzanne is in Peru making prayer ceremony at the feet of a paca, a shaman, expanding her soul in welcome of her budding place on Mother Earth…her place in the healing of Mother and the healing of those who walk upon her.

Our president will accept the Nobel Peace Prize today in anticipation of and commitment to expanding peace.

I go to the local library to initiate the business center created to support local entrepreneurs purposed to contribute to soulful community.

I write little essays inviting folks to look into their souls for the power, the purpose, the passion that is theirs alone.

This is the day.  This is a holy day.

Where do you see the holiness today?


Fortitude

Fortitude: “constancy under difficulty”

My favorite actors are all short. Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Richard Dreyfuss. No short man’s syndrome here. My long time friend Phil is short … a perceived handicap by our American standards. What makes these men different besides their natural charm and talents? In the film of the same name Rudy lacked any unusual talent. He had fortitude, but was that all?

Why am I drawn to these men? NOT because of overcoming adversity which is a partial definition of fortitude. They have all had their heads down and worked their asses off, oh yes. It’s not that. Many men and women have done the same to simply support themselves and their families. While they are commended and even honored, what is it that raises these ‘stars’ above the rest? What elevates them from the grindstone ordinary to the shining extraordinary? What surpasses the honorable quality of fortitude?

Heart. Heart embodies passion, the joy of the game, a non-stoppable drive to create.

Fortitude looks behind and says I must keep going. Fortitude looks ahead and says I cannot stop. Fortitude says yes to the no’s. Fortitude puts his head down and presses on.

Heart lives in the juicy moment, exacting precise desires. Heart creates in passion. Heart does not hear “no”. Heart lifts her head and rejoices.

Today, let’s live with heart.

Who are heart heroes for you? And why?
When and how have you juicily created?


Post Thanksgiving Gratitude

So alright already.  We just spent a day dedicated to nothing but thankfulness with family and a little football thrown in. We got in the spirit. We brought food, overate and were glad to be together.  For some perhaps, a thankfulness that we got through yet another year.  Moms, Dads, cousins, grandchildren…dancing our dance of said and unsaid…dancing our dance of love.

Something lingers unsaid, undone.  Someone was left out.  You.  Me.  Have you given thanks, felt deep gratitude for you?  Have you acknowledged  your own blessedness?  Have you counted the gift that you are to others, to the world? Have you looked into your heart with awe, understanding the piece of God that you are?  Have you understood the miracle that you are to others?  Have you basked in the juiciness of your very being?

Bask.  Understand.  Look.  Count.  Acknowledge.  Give thanks.


Compost

I was thinking about compost. The skins, the seeds, the bones of the foods that nourish us; the leaves that soaked sunshine to feed the tree; the flowers that fed the hummingbird and our hunger for beauty. Each is essential to hold the very fabric of life together. When their useful life is over and retired into Mother Earth, she reconfigures their death into nutrient that feeds new life.

Our stories, our beliefs are compost. They once served us, held us together, as skin. The seeds helped us grow to the now when we understand that we ARE the seed.

It’s time for harvest. It’s time to peel the potato, to uncover ourselves, to be / to show in the raw the very essence of who we are. The seeds that once helped keep our hearts from breaking, the ego that led the way, are ready for the compost.

If we don’t relinquish the stories when their job is done, they begin to stink. The good news is, no matter how long we hang on to the dead, non-serving refuse, the moment we let it go and bury it in Mother Earth, she can and does begin her magic… birthing  sweet smelling new life.

What comes forth is not what goes in. It is just simply more pleasant to deal with fresh potato peelings than rotten eggs.

As we peel the potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner, may we be mindful to be our raw, juiciest selves.


Thanksgiving

Today’s thanksgiving traditions center on family and football.

Thanksgiving number one involved families, yet its greatness lay in community.
Gratitude for bounty is ignorant of cultural lines, separation of any kind.
Bounty invoked gratitude.
Gratitude invoked celebration.
NO ONE was not invited to dinner.

As we prepare the turkey and bake the pies, may we take a heart look at our own tradition.
Is there anyone not coming to dinner…?


Musings from the Middle…

…of what you ask? The middle of America.  Kansas to be precise.

The middle of me.  The heart to be precise.

Ordinary stories of ordinary life evolving into extraordinary outcomes.

Erma Bombeck, Bill Cosby, Garrison Keillor and my grandmother engage life this way.  Chocolate cake for breakfast does contain the essential food groups after all.  The garden tomato suspended in air arches toward her sister’s body. I was the heroine of my grandmother’s stories. It wasn’t so much that these experiences were life changing, but rather life engaging.  What more can we ask for, dear reader, than to simply be engaged in Life.

And I confess, I admit, I bold face tell you that at this very typing, this very moment, my heart is beating fast, the cells in my body are alive with anticipation, tears blur my vision…all at the very prospect of engaging with you…about our everyday lives.

I invite you to come outside your garden wall, to dream beyond your kitchen table.  Let’s muse together…from the middle.

With love and warm welcome,                                                                                            Susan


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