Strength and weakness are a solid couple; their hookup is beautifully exponential.

Strength cannot exist without weakness. Its essence emerges from the press of imperfection and flaws, shortcomings serving as the catalyst for growth and expansion.

Weakness cannot survive without strength. Its character shines within the extension of gratitude, understanding serving as the olive branch for the kindness it deserves.

When strength is selfless and relaxes out of the spotlight, weakness gains confidence. When weakness is noble and softens to a smile, strength discovers purpose. Ah, true love.

A hyper-focus on strengths, with an ill-awareness to the beauty of our weaknesses, leaves us half-whole. When we recognize that both sides of our life-joints can constrict and loosen in support of one another, we find a bravery to know ourselves completely.

My son writes thank you letters.  His recipients include, but are not limited to, dogs & dead fish.

I never really knew what it would take to be a mom, nor the challenges it would throw my way.  I was certainly prepared to get up early, stay up late, make meals, take him places and show him new things.  However, I quickly realized I would need a very unique superpower; I would need to establish a strength to confront the expectation of an arbitrary and societal mom-norm.  I would have to defeat my pre-destined perpetual spin of demanding my son know “how to be a good person” each and every day.

I don’t require my son to write a thank you note for every gift he receives, nor do I ask him to smile politely when he doesn’t discern the need.   I let him guide me far more than I guide him.  He will hate me in his teens just as much as any other teen despises his mom, but he will know I never asked him to do anything beyond his own decision-making.  He will recognize that I never insisted on his discomfort for my personalized comfort gain or absorbed relief-high; he will know that he is full, flawed and human.

This all might be unpopular opinion, I suppose.  So let’s add to that unattractive list:

  1.  Hiking boots and dresses go together.  the perfect fashion mash-up
  2.  Solo-trips are essential.  a once-per-year requirement
  3.  Every song is a love song.  a gift of interpretation
  4.  Time doesn’t exist.  an entirely different blog post
  5.  Sundays are the antidote for exhaustion.  4-hour workouts are my norm

My son has never belonged to me.  He is part of something far greater than I can define for either of us.  My hope is that I invite him to learn a little more about himself each day and that I force myself out of his way so he can take action with his own thoughts and ideas.

I will listen when he is ready; I will help when he is willing.

It is quite-a-love-thing and likely, unpopular opinion.

A lyrical madress is more peculiar than a music lover; they can love in parts, free from a demand to cherish a song, a paragraph, or genre in its entirety in order to simply love a line, a word or a syllable hint.

They lift edges and grooves within every narrative that crosses their senses and allow each note to linger alongside both their joy and misery. Every curve is an expansion of their self-meaning and worldview. Examples A-D can be found below.

“She’s a jar with a heavy lid.” -Wilco, She’s a Jar

This is the phrase I draw on to describe moments in which I sense resistance from someone or from myself. It helps me note when someone is holding back emotion or the times when I hold back my truth. As in, “whew, he is a heavy lid today” or “nobody is getting me open today – there is too much, or perhaps too little, inside right now”. Holding back & resisting vulnerability is a common human response and, when I name it with this seven word phrase, I better understand why it is so difficult to overcome. We don’t resist vulnerability because we are awful, closed off people. We simply aren’t always ready to experience the emotions that come with the twist and opening of our souls.

“Riding my bike like I am too young to drive.” – Bazzi, Young & Alive

This is the mindset I use to reawaken myself. I, like anyone else, can get stuck in wanting to get somewhere faster, achieve something quicker or have something immediately. These are the moments when I want things to be easy and efficient. I roll this 10-word imagery through my fingertips to find pause. I put myself back on my first 10-speed and remind myself of how much fun it is to weave in and out of a path and go no-handed. I immediately become more playful, more exploratory, less afraid and less tense. I grow younger. Someone once told me to turn down the urge to always go fast, for nothing good will ever be able to catch up to me. Brilliant.

“I’m a sucker for some harmony.” -Wilderado, Surefire

This is one of my favorite life themes. This is the line that makes me giggle every time I give in, give up, reconsider or let go for the purpose of peace and goodwill. As in, “Here I go again. I am such a sucker for harmony”. A utopian rapport with all my surroundings is both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. These six words give me a moment to reflect on whether I am happy that I gave in, gave up, reconsidered or let go or if I just might push a little harder next time.

“I’m searching for planes in the sea…” -The 1975, Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America

This is one of the saddest lines I carry with me, but it is oh-so-necessary. This is my self-awareness articulation. We tend to deafen our senses as it relates to our lives, I think —- yet another common human response. Sometimes it is just too dang tricky to recognize the irony of our lives; it takes some effort to recognize the interconnectedness of the world. This seven word phrase, with a novel ellipsis add-on, helps me observe the dichotomy of my decisions and directions; on the flip side, it helps me discover the unity of my heart and mind. Establishing an ironic sense of being unleashes a spirit of humor and empathy. While this may be the saddest line I carry with me, it is the one that has released my ability to find laughter and joy in any given situation. Life is a trip and I am glad I am on it.

When we pay attention to “the parts” of our lives just as much as we would “the whole”, we become less distracted by our own joy or misery and grow appreciative of the journey itself. Most songs, sounds and images are designed to click our heads towards favoritism. We have to want more out of the things we listen to, look at, feel or taste. We can’t take everything in full definition; we must excavate the pieces that grow and evolve our spirit.

I am not suggesting you need to love the lines I have discovered, but I am absolutely suggesting that you find your own.

I never want my lyrical madress style to become accustomed to the norm. After all, I am 43 years old and nothing is going to fit me perfectly anymore. I get to try it all on. This is freedom.

And as such, is life, mirabile dictu.

Please remove all flowers within 14 days. 

These words welcomed me off a beaten path and into a small cemetery, hidden-hillside.  A simple sign tacked loosely into the bark of pine — its message hung so sadly within me.  A request to deport love I assumed – to remove, to rid, to dismiss.  All the flowers brought to then be gone.  It felt heavy like the day I was in, grey and fog-hinted.

I braved the welcome, however, and continued on, in honor of the dates and names I found rising under painfully-paced footfalls.  With each seemingly tragic and deathly step, hints of rain turned the edges of my mouth up; the dance of sunshine and clouds reminding me that the day was stunning and beautiful in its own right.  

Within almost half-a-breath’s notice, that same hidden-hillside message, off a beaten path and tacked loosely into the bark of pine, rose joyfully within me.  A request to allow love I assumed – to care for, to tend to, to nurture.  All the flowers gone to then be brought.  It felt ideal like the day I was in, grey and fog-hinted.

I am learning the word, love, five-decades-in.  It is relentless in interpretation and owns textures that most are unable to recognize, grasp or tolerate — I think.  I hope we are all eager for deeper understanding now.

Love is our super-duper human-power, and it has our loving list growing & growing….

  1.  We can experience pain & sadness & worry without losing ourselves.
  2.  We can let go.
  3.  We can push beyond the status quo.
  4.  We can grow beyond our flaws.
  5.  We can learn how to laugh fuller and with more joy.
  6.  We can hold on to trust, gratitude and patience.
  7.  We can know that what comes, goes.  And what goes, comes back around even better.
  8.  We can put eyes on the world in new & wonderful ways.
  9.  We can wake up early or stay up late for the conversation we need to have.
  10.  We can flip-over and fill-in-blanks.

We are as full and valuable as we always were.  Let’s rally our superpower.

 

Welp.  Ain’t this a kick in the head?  Oxymoronic perhaps.  Yep, all that we ever had was exactly what we always wanted and what we need now is exactly what we never had.  Enter the spin…

Let me be real clear here.  I do not (repeat, do not) fully understand the state of the world right now.  I deeply bow to people far smarter than me in many regards during this very intriguing demand on our world & lives.  But, per usual, I have a quip or two.

There is so much we can get to know right now.  And none of it is unprecedented.   We made our intellectual, physical & emotional beds a long time ago.  Believe me, I am laying in mine.

The world is in constant motion, despite our never-ending and desperate grip to maintain its crazy cadence (oxy & moronic again).  A virus pandemic to be taken seriously, yes.  The real fear – though and I think — is the reality of facing ourselves.  No wonder we are all in a panic.

We had grown accustomed to two-click conversations and shorthand stories, short-of-ourselves.  We had become full-to-the-beast of our ugly and brilliant egos to remain distracted and scheduled and quick-with-answers.  This was the pace that had been set.  It had been the norm, and without it, we are discovering  ourselves lost and wandering within the silence.

This virus we are all fighting has been our dormant destiny, and the pressure that we feel against our chests and late-into-the-night is showing-up masked; it hides itself as a need to remedy the unknowns and to relieve intense stress and pain from ourselves and those who we love so dearly and deeply.  But the real squeeze had already been resting around our minds, bodies and hearts; its newly found strength does not have to suffocate us.  With some wisdom and courage, we can see what is really going on here and can learn how to breathe again.

Here is what is going on with me…

I have made quite the life of being alone – the kind that people tilt their head at.  They question the intensity to which I meditate, the extent to which I remain silent and the frequency to which I walk alone in the middle of the night.   This has been my output for quite some time.  What I had not fully recognized, however, was the input that was active on the other side of me.  The strength of my isolation had always been balanced with prevalent and repetitive connectivity. And now, under this new light and circumstances, my previous life equation feels unresolved and unbalanced…

busyness + a need to be needed + tasks + deadlines + clarity + outings + gyms + routines + happy hours + hugs + high fives + perceived freedom  =

an ability  to create, to be peaceful, to be grounded, to disconnect, to be silent, to be alone.

The things that had always added up now feel deconstructed.  So here I am, a person deemed a deep & quiet introvert, struggling in the midst of seemingly getting what I have always wanted and needed.  There is something for me to learn and to develop within myself if I can deconstruct the worry, the fear and the sadness that literally feels like its coming in waves against my intellect and intuition.  If I can hold the patience to reconstruct this at a deeper and far more integrated level, I just might be able to note the allegory the world is writing for me, and for all of us, right now.

Your life equations likely look and feel different than mine, but I am guessing they, too, have been disrupted.  It might be worth a thought, a recalculation. The moment we think we have it figured out, will very likely be the moment we don’t.  But, that might be right where our solution (a.k.a peace) lies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I never know exactly when its demanding hint of colors will hit, but it is louder and more definite than anything I have ever known to resist.  It can break my heart open and unhinge the restraints of time.  It can get me pulled over and running toward its safety every time.

And every time– I can’t even.  I can’t even take in the beauty of its colors on the water, nor its uncandid reflection back into itself.  I can’t begin to understand how something so incredibly complicated can feel so desperately simple.

And then I can’t even-

believe that I am 43 years old.

I can’t believe that I live the life that I do.

I can’t fathom the fact that people around me are dwindling in age or within joy.

I can’t accept what he just said or what she just did.

(and quite honestly, I can’t appreciate what I just said or what I just did)

I can’t put rest to the sadness of losing of an uncle; the loneliness for a best friend is even worse.

The can’t-even canter of this conversation is (insert life).

But it (the sunrise) helps me. It gets me back to loving something that will be steady and ready enough to welcome me back into its every day.

Its equally stunning counterpart will lay my head down peacefully, no matter all the things I could not even.

 

Love is so lovely.  I have fallen-in more than a dozen times and divided by 4…

I fell in love in Adams Morgan once upon a time in my life.  We kissed in the Potomac and held hands on the Metro.  I grew fondly intellectual, over pizza and red wine. He made me salmon and I noted all the ways I would love beyond him…

I fell in love in Wash Park, CO & uninhibited in Larimer Square.  We hit the Rockies and circled the Red Rocks.  I widened my horizons, over screwdrivers and fried foods.  He made my house a mess and I noted all the ways I would stick out love with him…

I fell in love in New York City, under layers of deep friendship.  We teased out high school crushes and looks of adoration.  I stretched out my heart, over two shots of whiskey and wedding cake.  He let me let him go and I noted all the ways I would stay in love with him….

 

 

 

 

There are things that become like breathing, I think — things that once seemed so hard and now simply feel like waking up or drifting off to sleep.

My respiratory list includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1.  6 miles at an 8:47 & 45-minute workouts at age 43.
  2. Coffee-in-hand presentations on no sleep.
  3. Good mornings & I love yous that resist a grumpy mood.
  4. Stops on the hill to note a sunset  (dinner can wait).
  5. Walks in moonlight and on ice.
  6. Ladders, roofs & ferris wheels.
  7. Giving worry & fear a hard no.
  8. Typing with long nails.
  9. Owning a cat.
  10. Loving everything I am….

I don’t twirl hair or bandwagon girl-energy.  I flip headlights on otherwise-silent roads and send lyrics to consider.  I dance at the best moments and offer humor at the worst. 

THIS. IS. HOW. I. BREATHE.  

While preaching ‘know thyself’ seems like the right thing to do, our identity might actually be craving some subjectivity.   The objective rules of the world should, at times, be met with a courage for sentience.  It might be the only chance we have to uncover our incandescent being.

Pennies cannot beg good luck, and well-kissed quarters won’t always transport wishes.   It is a harsh and beautiful truth;  rules, hopes and prayers don’t always enjoy the rollercoaster of life.  

No matter how well we believe we know ourselves and the circle of life, we are in constant motion and within change.  We are in between what we want and what is; we are intersected between what we need and what we can do.  We tilt, we whirl.

Our identity is infinite.  This just-almost-and-barely circle of our distinctive faith remains open to challenge & threat & objection.  Yet…we are perfectly balanced in agility & brightness and harmony to ride the ride.  We are luckily-destined to become separate and disembodied for the purpose of further knowing and greater healing.

We can discover ourselves in mystical retrograde, just as a ferris wheel changes directions. Moments of backward and opposite gesture are nothing more than an observation wheel into who and where we are at within this exact breath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was nothing streamlined or steady about the world today.  It woke up big and bold and unapologetic of its beauty and depth; eastern reds & yellows extending pinks & purples to the west.  Trees dancing to a light-no light melody; notes heavy against their glimmer.

today was a day to be reckoned by the soul; a sky not to be trusted.

daybreak, midday & dawn teed up in conversation…

the world is so available today

double-down on love early

twice-cry at 8am

be broken-hearted by 10 and find disappointment at noon

get downpoured at 3; early-evening laugh 1,000 times

regret lean & little,

invert hate with compassion

The world has insight…

let the sunrise fill you up and release your breathe like the sunset; don’t keep track of strangers, enemies or best friends (nor acquaintances or people you have loved)

Just be. And be better.  And then see what the sky says.   

*journal thoughts from 7.31.19