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Deep thoughts from the Funeral

Any week in your life when you say goodbye to a friend is going to be difficult. I found myself asking the difficult question, “is this the tipping point in life, more funerals than weddings or baby showers. More sadness than celebration?”

Intellectually I know that is not the truth. Life keeps moving on, and there are always things to celebrate. I have been working diligently in the recent past to celebrate everything I can, and plan to continue that. I believe it is important. 

I am finding strength and support from new friends as I grow and change. I grow more distant from those who I once treasured so dearly.  

I have thought a lot recently about how growth is pain.  Much like fruit on the vine, that which does not grow is left to wither and die. Fruit that does grow, changes and is forced into a new shape, it enlarges, and is forced by the conditions around it, and the nutrition available to adapt, thrive, or whither and die.  Did you know they can make watermelons square, or pears shaped like Buddha? Adaptation to environment, and the result of need or desire for change. That pear or watermelon grew as it was forced, not all end up the same and that’s ok. 

It’s hard to think about loss because it makes us look sat ourselves. What is the legacy I want to leave behind? Would anyone come to my funeral? What would people say about me? As I sat in the pew at mass I did have the passing though that I did not care if anyone showed up at my funeral because those that matter show up when you are here. 

Funerals are not for the dead they are for the living… and while I am out living I want to be surrounded by the amazing and magical people that keep showing up.  This is why I invite people to be part of my life. Be present because you are a gift of spirit. 

You can raise someone up, or drag them down and it is your choice how to handle a situation. I will continue to raise others and myself up, saying yes and showing up when asked at every chance my body allows. We only get one shot in this life, find joy where we can, embrace it where it lives in whatever form it arrives in. 

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Courage

Watching to “To The Bone” on Netflix today a lot of it hit home. I have struggled as far back in my life as I remember with an eating disorder. More than that this movie was a good reminder about living life. 
Folks, I beg you to take note in the real world there is no way to be safe or see and live just the good moments. 

Stop waiting for life to be easy. The more you push through the muck and the mud; the garbage and the sludge the more brilliance and beauty you will find. 

Stop hoping for someone or something to come along and save you. We are meant to be resilient and when you stare down the demons and that awful shit… you are going to have an AMAZING life. 

I offer you this poem for a bit of reflection. Please enjoy and move into the week with intention! 

Courage 

     by Anne Sexton

It is in the small things we see it.

The child’s first step,

as awesome as an earthquake.

The first time you rode a bike,

wallowing up the sidewalk.

The first spanking when your heart

went on a journey all alone.

When they called you crybaby

or poor or fatty or crazy

and made you into an alien,

you drank their acid

and concealed it.


Later,

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets

you did not do it with a banner,

you did it with only a hat to

comver your heart.

You did not fondle the weakness inside you

though it was there.

Your courage was a small coal

that you kept swallowing.

If your buddy saved you

and died himself in so doing,

then his courage was not courage,

it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.


Later,

if you have endured a great despair,

then you did it alone,

getting a transfusion from the fire,

picking the scabs off your heart,

then wringing it out like a sock.

Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,

you gave it a back rub

and then you covered it with a blanket

and after it had slept a while

it woke to the wings of the roses

and was transformed.


Later,

when you face old age and its natural conclusion

your courage will still be shown in the little ways,

each spring will be a sword you’ll sharpen,

those you love will live in a fever of love,

and you’ll bargain with the calendar

and at the last moment

when death opens the back door

you’ll put on your carpet slippers

and stride out.



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You are Beautiful

“You’re really beautiful” and “you’re really good at what you do; not your job how you handle your interactions with life”

Those two statements were given to me as I walked over the Mississippi River under the stars Friday night. Treasured words given to me by someone I am getting to know better. 

I can’t explain how amazing it has been to continue to see the evolution of myself. This transformation into a different person by simply choosing to live more in the now and do what makes me happy. It is a long road to figure out who and what you are in life. 

To hear that someone who I have only really known for a comparatively short period of time sees beauty in me, and sees that significance in the way I conduct my life is incredible. 

The brief walk and talk we shared from the bar I’m sure was part sweet intoxication, but inside all drunken stupors there is some truth. Truth that the shift I have made in life has given way to my happiness. 

Those statements a out who I am are probably the best gifts I could receive as a birthday present this year; and they reinforce that living my best life and pushing the limits for myself and lifting others up is exactly what I need to continue to do. 

I may just have to start visiting the river more… it may become a new happy place.