Sunday, November 30, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 30 November 2014

But you can’t get to any of these truths by sitting in a field smiling beatifically, avoiding your anger and damage and grief. Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth. We don’t have much truth to express unless we have gone into those rooms and closets and woods and abysses that we were told not go in to. When we have gone in and looked around for a long while, just breathing and finally taking it in – then we will be able to speak in our own voice and to stay in the present moment. And that moment is home.   [Anne Lamott]

For a long while I was drawn to drama. Every relationship I have and have had appears on my mind’s screen like a series of skirmishes and battles, won, lost, and sometimes simply drawn. I never dared say so BEfore. But I knew. And the others knew, too.

Rare and waaaaaaay long BEtween there have been times un-drama-fed, which makes me a little MORE willing to wade through the muck of “anger and damage and grief” with a better “thinking cap” on my head.

It's good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life.   [Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith]
A spectaculicious way to see DOing uncomfortable stuff.

I love you, Currie

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 29 November 2014

Often misconstrued, authenticity is not about being an open book, revealing every detail of yourself without rhyme or reason. It is simply the act of openly and courageously seeing what needs to be seen, saying what needs to be said, doing what needs to be done, and becoming that which you are intent on being.   [Scott Edmund Miller]

Sometimes I think I need to DO something. I must make something or complete something. It’s NOT a good feeling when I feel this. But it’s NOT necessarily “bad” either. It’s curious I suppose.

I find less and less that need in me to hide or have secrets. If I feel resentful, worried, or upset about some situation or person, I’m pretty sure there is some lesson in there. It might require my DOing something, but NOT necessarily.

It could mean I need to Let Go. Stop. BEgin. Try Another Way. If I want to BE real, if I want to live fully and love deeply, I suppose I have to BE Currie, flaws and all. Imperfect. Confused. Messy.

If you find yourself criticizing other people, you're probably doing it out of Resistance. When we see others beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives us crazy if we have not lived out our own.   [Stephen Pressfield]

Hmmmmmmm… makes sense.

I love you, Currie

Friday, November 28, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 28 November 2014

For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn't have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.   [Stephen Hawking]

WOW!!! I’ve rarely read something that hit me BEtween my brain and heart so exquisitely.

For me, talking too much has looooooong been the flaw of mine I’ve had the hardest time taming. I think this is why I so want to go live in a monastery, where quiet is the greater part of time. In my solitude, here, Now, I have come to love silence. Hearing the sound of Life, untranslated, and often too mysterious to BEgin to comprehend.

Today, however, I look at the hope of talking. As long as I am listening. And as long as others are talking and listening, too.

MayBE that is what writing this is about?!

Make sure we keep talking…

I love you, Currie

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 27 November 2014

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.   [A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh]

It’s NOT the size of the heart that determines Gratitude, it’s about our willingness to BE grateful, to see Life’s extraordinary unpredictability as BEauty BEyond measure. At least this is what I BElieve and try to live by.

In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.   [Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia]

I think that trying to “pay back” is something rather silly. Truly, imagine if all our good deeds were weighed down with handling pay back.

And as much as I love “paying forward” in concept, in practise it’s NOT easily done. I try just to hold thankful thoughts in my mind, my heart, and my attitudes. Now, while I’m NOT so able to DO for others, I am learning to receive. Gratefully.

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.   [Thích Nhất Hạnh]


I love you, Currie

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 26 November 2014

It is always the first and last steps that are the hardest to take. We walk away and try not to turn back, or we stand just outside the gates, terrified to find what's waiting for us now that we've returned. In between, we stumble blindly from one place and life to the next. We try to do the best we can. There are moments like this, however, when we are neither coming nor going, and all we have to do is sit and look back on the life we have made.   [Dinaw Mengestu]

It’s true about starting off, taking those first-so-tentative-it seems-like-tiptoeing-steps. The terrified might BE a bit much, but the effect of terrified is spot-on.

Walking away is something I have a lot of practise with. MayBE it’s more collaborative than I can see. And, walking away without looking back has really been a hard nut for me to crack.

We all DO, I choose to BElieve, our very best. And sometimes we judge, ourselves and each other, assuming the best is anything but and BEing rather unpleasant about it.

And this is how we make a Life. Steps forward. Standing still. Pausing. Turning round sometimes.

Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.    [Yvonne Woon, Dead Beautiful]


I love you, Currie

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 25 November 2014

Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good.   [Elizabeth Edwards]

This interpretation might NOT BE the last word on resilience, but it suits me Right Now. I’ve spent some precious time fighting Change[s] and it’s really just worn me out more. Now I’m working on putting something else, something good even, together, Right Here Where I Am Right Now.

The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.    [Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven]

I’ve always loved willow trees. I’ve admired their ability to bend and move with the wind. I love their built-in capacity for resilience that is based on nothing more complicated than how the willow tree is made.

Am I made like that?! Or am I more like the oak tree?! Strong against any wind. Firm and inflexible. Sturdy.

If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.  [Shane Koyczan]

There’s a resilient way of living Life. And on its own terms no less!!

It does not matter how strong your gravity is, we were always meant to fly.   [Sarah Kay]

I love you, Currie

Monday, November 24, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 24 November 2014

When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.   [Paulo Coelho, Brida]

Even if I would like different tools, I am BEginning to see the usefulness of these three. Disappointment always helps me see where I have relied too much on another. One of my favourite lyrics goes – it’s too much to expect but NOT too much to ask – and I’ve learned to apply that to everything.

Defeat and despair also seem far from “tools” to me. Still, I can see plenty of evidence to make me question that. I’ve had a lot of despair these past 2 months. I’ve known defeat in 37 different flavours. And yet here I am Today with far less fear and far more willingness to fail enthusiastically.

There are some things in this world you rely on, like a sure bet. And when they let you down, shifting from where you've carefully placed them, it shakes your faith, right where you stand.   [Sarah Dessen, Someone Like You]

When someone lets me down Now I try to see it as an opportunity for me to either cast a wider net or Let Go of reliance in favour of resilience.

I love you, Currie

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 23 November 2014

Don't be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.   [George Saunders, The Braindead Megaphone]

I am often confused. Or, I am often aware of confusion and notice it is travelling very close to me.

I just never realised what a treasure confusion is. Until I did.

Confusion is the best “explanation” for the curious series of events that have transpired in my Life over both the past 7 weeks as well the past 8 months. If I look at it too closely or try to “figure it out” I just wind up winded and sort of dazed.

Even as a child, she had preferred night to day, had enjoyed sitting out in the yard after sunset, under the star-speckled sky listening to frogs and crickets. Darkness soothed. It softened the sharp edges of the world, toned down the too-harsh colors. With the coming of twilight, the sky seemed to recede; the universe expanded. The night was bigger than the day, and in its realm, life seemed to have more possibilities.   [Dean Koontz, Midnight]

Somehow I know that all is well, even when it’s all chaotic and bubbly.

That’s all I’m saying.

I love you, Currie

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 22 November 2014

I used to think that paired opposites were a given, that love was the opposite of hate, right the opposite of wrong. But now I think we sometimes buy into these concepts because it is so much easier to embrace absolutes than to suffer reality. I don't think anything is the opposite of love. Reality is unforgivingly complex.   [Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life]


I’ve done a lot of this “I used to think” thinking and writing. It’s NOT always obvious, especially to me, but there sure have been a lot of “thinks” I’ve reconsidered in the NOT so BEautimous light of reality.

…awareness is learning to keep yourself company. And then learn to be more compassionate company, as if you were somebody you are fond of and wish to encourage. I doubt that you would read a close friend's early efforts and, in his or her presence, roll your eyes and snicker. I doubt that you would pantomime sticking your finger down your throat. I think you might say something along the lines of, 'Good for you. We can work out some of the problems later, but for now, full steam ahead!   [Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life]

We all need encouragement. Every one of us.

I love you, Currie

Friday, November 21, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 21 November 2014

I'm sure that's when you really know you are happy - when you wake up wanting to embrace your future, rather than trying to squirm away from your past.  [Peter James, Perfect People]

I wonder sometimes just what I thought BEing happy looked like. BEcause, for so Very Long, I didn’t think I’d got too many Happy genes. Now though, it’s different, in a really good way.

BEing Happy, for me, has sometimes been looking forward with enthusiasm, but more and more it seems to BE BEing more enthusiastic about BEing Me. As I am. As I am NOT. With my Past BEing what it was and with me NOT in a tear to get clear of it.

Don't mourn change. Embrace it. Whether you've decided to change your mind, or someone else impacted your way of life, or your heart, it's your journey. It's time. Take courage. Explore new possibilities.  [Rita Said]

Some new information has been poured into the past month-and-a-half. It has had me spinning and trying to make sense of things at a time when I feel pretty slippery without the right soles on my shoes. So I am stepping out into it, mindfully, and I hope with more courage than I’ve demonstrated the past 6 weeks or so.

I’m really tired today.


I love you, Currie

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 20 November 2014

People like to say love is unconditional, but it's not, and even if it was unconditional, it's still never free. There's always an expectation attached. They always want something in return. Like they want you to be happy or whatever and that makes you automatically responsible for their happiness because they won't be happy unless you are ... I just don't want that responsibility.   [Katja Millay, The Sea of Tranquility]

I have always been intrigued by unconditional love. It sounds so nice. But it also sounds like one of those here-is-what’s-different-about-me things. I’ve never found love to BE free of some sort of condition and expectation. And if I forget to squint just so at that finding, no matter what, I am dubious and on my guard.

I don’t say this with negative intent, but I know I have certain expectations of Gracie, as she does me, and anyone who knows the two of us would point to an “unconditional love” BEtween us.

Mostly I think it is the responsible thing to clarify my limitations, my boundaries, and my expectations. NOT necessarily to anyone else, but certainly within myself. When I don’t, or at least when I have NOT done so, those are the places where I can point to things BEing “fubar.”

Just me thinking out loud.

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 19 November 2014

Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.    [Jodi Picoult, Second Glance]

Often I have needed rescuing. I’ve most often found it necessary to BE saved from myself. From my own wrongthinking which led me from the solid ground BEneath my feet to spinning with no ground I could find.

Along this cancer Journey I have met some amazing heroes. Many of them were overworked and probably NOT paid well enough, yet never once did that cross my mind. I have been almost daily amazed by the heroes who have cared for me, DOing their piece of the bigger picture. And DOing so almost gladly. That’s been something. That has really been truly extraordinary.

We are all ordinary. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. We are all helpless. It just depends on the day.   [Brad Meltzer]

Indeed it does, all of it, depend on the day…

I love you, Currie

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 18 November 2014

Maybe, it is just enough to believe with a positive heart that people didn’t let you down. It could be just this: They couldn’t give you the compassion you really wanted based on where their heart is right now. Maybe, not now, but years later they will catch the memory of you in a quiet moment. There on that Sunday morning, a light will shine through the fog of lies, misunderstanding and frustration they built inside their angry mind about your true character. And, when it does, the shadows will be casted out to reveal a scared and hurt little boy or girl that just wanted to be loved, but went about it all wrong. Maybe, on that day, the whisper of their gratitude for your love will find its way back to your heart. And when that day comes, you will find yourself smiling all day long and not know why.   [Shannon L. Alder]

I hope this is true.

I really REALLY hope it is.

But you know, whether it is or isn’t true, I choose it for myself. Right Now. And I am certain that is Enough.

Another thing, about BElieving with a positive heart, I think that is essential to inner peace.

I’ve tried making DO with a semi-positive heart and it just doesn’t work.

I love you, Currie

Monday, November 17, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 17 November 2014

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting.   [Dr. Seuss]

I have to admit that Life can BE a whole lot of waiting. But here’s the thing: waiting is NOT a bad thing. Imagine all the time you have spend waiting… WOW!! amazing, eh?!

I used to NOT wait well. And Now, well, Now I am only a little better at it. I’ve found things to DO while I wait. I have learned that waiting is NOT long or short, slow or fast, fun or a total drag. It is Time with which I can DO whatever floats my boat.

We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours,we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.   [Dr. Seuss]

Dr. Seuss was right on this one, too. I’ve fallen in mutual weirdness many times. Sometimes it turned into something unforgettable. Other times, well, I’ve forgotten those.

Or stopped remembering them.

I love you, Currie

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 16 November 2014

I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me--that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.    [Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith]

I try to live simply and mostly manage to DO so, but no matter how low the common denominator, my Life still gets messy. A lot.

And it can also get rather dark. Quickly. I am pretty much always well aware of this, and sometimes I even see where I CHOSE this, but lately I’ve been thinking I may have got this all cornfuzzled.

Life’s BEing messy and those feelings that come wearing coats of emptiness and pain are the point though. When I get to that sort of place Now I’ve found a new perspective. I Now see that faith, in what are oftentimes hideous circumstances, is remarkable and encouraging.

I do not understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.   [Anne Lamott]

In the end that’s all you need to know.

I love you, Currie

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 15 November 2014

Did you know that for pretty much the entire history of the human species, the average life span was less than thirty years? You could count on ten years or so of real adulthood, right? There was no planning for retirement, There was no planning for a career. There was no planning. No time for planning. No time for a future. But then the life spans started getting longer, and people started having more and more future. And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future--you go to high school so you can go to college so you can get a good job so you can get a nice house so you can afford to send your kids to college so they can get a good job so they can get a nice house so they can afford to send their kids to college.   [John Green, Paper Towns]

The truth in this is true in so many ways. I think about the frivolous practise of making plans.

Yet I still seek the confidence that taking steps toward a future can bring [but sometimes does NOT].

There are plans I have had that Now make no sense. In fact, they simply don’t matter.

Life is funny like that.

Well, sometimes.

I love you, Currie

Friday, November 14, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 14 November 2014

Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things--childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves--that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers. [Salman Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991]

I love the way such simple phrases can encompass what is possible BEing human. Imagine if you could NOT choose how you live your Life or what guiding lights you will follow. Imagine if you were only allowed to DO safe things with sure outcomes. Imagine if everything about your Life is already set in stone and your only option is to go round and round like the carousel horses on a merry-go-round.

I tend toward over-DOing and rarely think about what moves me to BE that way. Lately I have been treated to other perspectives, and though I haven’t done so gracefully, I have chosen to open my mind and my heart, well past my comfort points.

I’ve chosen to trust my instincts and I have overcome my doubts. Well, some of them anyway.

And yet…

I love you, Currie

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 13 November 2014

I have always found it odd that people who think passive aggressively ignoring a person is making a point to them. The only point it makes to anyone is your inability to articulate your point of view because deep down you know you can’t win. It’s better to assert yourself and tell the person you are moving on without them and why, rather than leave a lasting impression of cowardness on your part in a person’s mind by avoiding them.    [Shannon L. Alder]

Sometimes when I read something, and there is a deep resonance in me, I will stop long enough [and often longer] to really marinate in the lesson. Oftentimes I won’t really “get it” at the first go, and it takes me several more readings to really BEgin understanding what is happening.

For most of my Life I have taken the avoidance route. I have left things unspoken. I have just walked away, unwilling to articulate the thoughtsandfeelings that are spinning too fast and furiously for me to catch hold of them. To speak them. Out loud.

And, on those occasions when I haven't spoken, I have felt ashamed and weak and small and wrong.

This is NOT the way toward peace. In fact, this is the wrong way to anything remotely like peace.

I promise.

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 12 November 2014

For an artist is not a consumer, as our commercials urge us to be. An artist is a nourisher and a creator who knows that during the act of creation there is collaboration. We do not create alone.    [Madeleine L'Engle]

The best part of Life is DOing and BEing what we’re curious about DOing or considering BEcoming. It doesn’t come all at once, we have to BEgin from wherever we are. We’re following something we canNOT name or put our arms round, but we know we’re DOing the whatever it is we’re meant to BE DOing in this moment.

Stop being self-conscious when you write.
You are the expert about the world you are creating,
no one else. So be bold and write on.
 [Nirav Sanchaniya]

I’m noticing that I am curious about what I have created, what I have written and made, and yet I feel strange about going back and reading or seeing it. I think it is BEcause I have been changed by writing and making my art, and going back is, well, it’s like seeing all my flaws and missteps under the harshness of cold flourescent lighting.

Creating is no problem - problem solving is not creating.   [Robert Fritz, Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life]


I love you, Currie

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 11 November 2014

Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.    [John Green, Looking for Alaska]

It’s obvious to pretty much everyone that we DO live for tomorrow and base that on yesterday. We are all so well-honed in this practise that when we have to BE Present Right Here and Right Now, it’s a struggle, like drawing with our wrong hand.

I am learning, slowly, and perhaps too late in my own game, to marinate in each day and let its juice permeate me. It’s still a stretch and I catch myself BEing in a hurry far too much, yet little by slowly I am coming round.

At some point, you just pull off the Band-Aid, and it hurts, but then it's over and you're relieved.   [John Green, Looking for Alaska]

Sometimes Life is like pulling off the Band-Aid. There is that moment of hesitation and fear, then the decision, and finally, the pulling off. So much [too much??!] thinking goes into it. Afterward it can feel like you are in a strange place. Alone.

I love you, Currie

Monday, November 10, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 10 November 2014

Lots of things can be fixed. Things can be fixed. But many times, relationships between people cannot be fixed, because they should not be fixed. You're aboard a ship setting sail, and the other person has joined the inland circus, or is boarding a different ship, and you just can't be with each other anymore. Because you shouldn't be.    [C. JoyBell C.]

Lately it feels to me like I am in a growth spurt. Strange, but I feel it so I am going to call it by a name I know. I think I can “fix” things that have been broken or even just set aside, but when I come to the task I haven’t the tools or the first clue HOW to “fix” whatever it is.

Today is my father’s 89th birthday. I wish, more than anything, sometimes, that I could just hear his voice, have him “in my corner,” and know he is with me. But he and I aren’t big fans of the telephone, and a visit isn’t in the cards, so I will likely have to settle for phoning him and leaving my good wishes in a voicemail.

The idea that mayBE our relationship is just fine as it is, [and as it is NOT] well, I am finding some peace in that.


I love you, Currie

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 9 November 2014

Take yourself out of the center of other people's universe - it will free you up and let the universe turn more easily.   [Patti Digh, Creative Is a Verb: If You're Alive, You're Creative]

DO you ever find yourself thinking that everything is about YOU?! That what someone says or does, or does NOT say or DO is some sort of a reflection on YOU?!

I’m thinking you, like me, want very much to say NO!! NEVER!!

However, at least in my little corner of the Universe, this pothole trips me up and takes me down far more than I even realise.

Don't be afraid to fall in love with ideas, with places, with subjects, with people. You'll fall in and out of love many times, but this is how we figure it out. This is how we learn what we love, this is how we recognize what we want, this is how we know what we need and, maybe just as important, what we do not need.    [Patti Digh, What I Wish For You: Simple Wisdom for a Happy Life]

There’s something really amazing to me about BEing alive in the World: So many adventures, even in the dull and mundane parts. And there's no limit to what I can love, try, and even fail at, enthusiastically.

I love you, Currie

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 8 November 2014

‘But it does not seem that I can trust anyone,’ said Frodo.
Sam looked at him unhappily. ‘It all depends on what you want,' put in Merry. 'You can trust us to stick with you through thick and thin--to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours--closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo’.
    [J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring]

Trusting people isn’t a simple enterprise. It’s full to overflowing with impossibilities, even for a dyed in the wool possibilitarian.

From my recent-most experiences, I have discovered the most difficult part of trusting someone is my own willingness to BE wrong. To BE disappointed. To BE hurt.

On the other hand, and there is always another hand, trusting can BE [and often is] a lot like a BEautimous dance. I’m glad to know this. And gladder still to have experienced it.

I have been blessed with many good and kind people along the way of my Life, and Now, more than any other time, I am acutely aware of this.

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.    [Ernest Hemingway]

I agree.

I love you, Currie

Friday, November 7, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 7 November 2014

All these years I fell for the great palace lie that grief should be gotten over as quickly as possible and as privately. But what I've discovered since is that lifelong fear of grief keeps us in a barren, isolated place and that only grieving can heal grief; the passage of time will lessen the acuteness, but time alone, without the direct experience of grief, will not heal it.    [Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith]

Grief is a slippery sucker. It can come out of nowhere as easily as it can sit on my bed and steal all the Light. It takes my breath away and leaves me feeling I’ll float away in it. Forever and ever. Amen.

What I’m learning Now is that Grief is also a BEautimous gift. Whether it comes in a HUGE box with ribbons and bows or from the bottom-most place in a box of cereal in the waxed-paper crinkles. Grief doesn’t scare me anymore.

The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we'd done were less real and important than they had been hours before.    [John Green, The Fault in Our Stars]

Feelings aren’t facts.

I love you, Currie

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 6 November 2014

Thinking about something is like picking up a stone when taking a walk, either while skipping rocks on the beach, for example, or looking for a way to shatter the glass doors of a museum. When you think about something, it adds a bit of weight to your walk, and as you think about more and more things you are liable to feel heavier and heavier, until you are so burdened you cannot take any further steps, and can only sit and stare at the gentle movements of the ocean waves or security guards, thinking too hard about too many things to do anything else.    [Lemony Snicket, The End]

I find that thinking about something gives it a sense or BEing real, or realer than it actually is. Like my thoughts about wanting to live a monastic Life. People look at me funny when I say this, but for me it is what I most want.

Now, coming somewhat out of the haze of chemo and radiation, at the time of the year here when it is “window weather” and Morning Adventures with Gracie can happen long after the sun is up, I find myself drawn more and more to that idea.

Sometimes just the idea is enough to bring peace.

I’m glad I know what is Enough.

I love you, Currie

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 5 November 2014

I want to live the rest of my life, however long or short, with as much sweetness as I can decently manage, loving all the people I love, and doing as much as I can of the work I still have to do.   [Audre Lorde]

Talking with a friend yesterday, we both laughed out loud when we hit upon the Great Truth: None of us gets out of Life alive.

I’ve spent large chunks of time these past 6 months considering how I want to live what is the rest of my Life. I don’t know anymore Now than I did BEfore how long or short that “rest of” it will BE. Sure, there are some statistics, but no one knows anything for certain.

So in this frame, I have asked this of myself:

BE Kind. Make Time. Listen. BE Quieter. Love and DO it Out Loud, no matter who does or says what. Make a Difference, and DO it Now, don’t wait or try another time.

Put things together, give away my art, DO what only I CAN DO, from my heart and with my best thinking.

I’ve NOT been so “sweet.” I am easily bruised and I irritate too darned fast. But I DO want to live “with as much sweetness as I can decently manage.”

I love you, Currie

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 4 November 2014

Being generous often consists of simply extending a hand. That's hard to do if you are grasping tightly to your righteousness, your belief system, your superiority, your assumptions about others, your definition of normal.   [Patti Digh, Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally]

How simple. How I have complicated this. How confused I get about this simple thing I’ve complicated.

Equip yourself for your own needs.   [Patti Digh, What I Wish For You: Simple Wisdom for a Happy Life]

Just as it’s wisest to adjust your own oxygen mask first, it’s also important to KNOW your own needs and BE prepared to take care of them. Whatever the “cost” or inconvenience.

I always like it when someone else “gets me” and meets me there, where I am, instead of making it all very awkward and even a little icky like BEing on a different page.  But what someone else says or does has never really been the point. This is one way I’m Now equipped which I did NOT have or know about BEfore.

What is making the difference, I BElieve, is taking the time to LISTEN to myself, throwing all I have at that instead of making it up as I go along. Inside of me is where everything “speaks.”

I love you, Currie

Monday, November 3, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 3 November 2014

You hear often in stories and songs and movies about the ONE person whose love will be everything to you, who will be everything you ever needed. What you will find, however, is that people give what they have. We are wired differently, and we will give our love differently. You will find people whose love feeds your mind, and people whose love feeds your sense of humor, and people whose love you can count on at 2:00 a.m. on a random Tuesday. When you let all of those different kinds of love into your spirit, it will smooth out the rough spots, filling in the tiny spaces left behind from moments of pain and misunderstanding. One person may not fill the role of providing every kind of love you need, and that is what makes life interesting.    [Patti Digh, What I Wish For You: Simple Wisdom for a Happy Life]

There is complicated and there is simple.

My tendency has been to dive headlong into complicated.

Now I am learning to BE simpler.

And my rough spots are slowly smoothing themselves out.

Learning to let Love in is a Life’s work, I think.

Once it’s “in” I think it goes about its business quietly, never needing me to direct, explain, or justify it one tiny little bit.

I love you, Currie

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 2 November 2014

You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won't really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we'll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won't wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.    [Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life]

Lately I have been thinking a lot about why writing has always been so precious to me. I remember even as a young child how much I loved the feeling of empowerment that BEing able to put words together gave me.

I’ve never really got the hang of writing fiction. I’ve wanted to, but it’s like the difference BEtween BEing a sculptor and bicycle messenger.

What I know is that I am very lucky.

Blessed even.

I love you, Currie

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Currie's Gratitude 1 November 2014

I smiled back at her. I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.    [Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith]

I’ve been feeling something like this for some time Now. I hesitated long BEfore selecting this quote to bounce off of this morning. I have had some really awful thoughts. Some of them I canNOT even think about thinking about. They are that awful.

I wonder a lot about the power of my thoughts. I sincerely and deeply BElieve our thoughts BEcome the “things” of our lives. Mine surely have carved out an interesting existence. When Gracie and I are out in the mornings, I spend a lot of time watching thought bubbles in my birdbrain.

Yesterday I tried this tamarindo [I think the name is something like that] juice at the Farmer’s Market. I gave the guy a $10 and he gave me back $17. I knew it when I got home BEcause I knew exactly how much I had had in my wallet.

I no more thought about keeping it than I would think to intentionally hurt someone. Still, it will BE on my mind until next Friday, when I can return it to him.

I love you, Currie