Much like birds …

I find it fascinating that most birds pair for life.  How do they choose a life partner?  Do they ever make mistakes?  How do they work out differences? Do they ever fall out of love?  Do they ever yearn for the way it used to be?  How do they cope when their partner is no more?  So many questions.  I have no answers.

With the birds I observe, the males like the fairy blue wren are gorgeous whereas the female is less vivid.  Male birds work hard to get the female”s interest.  I once watched a bower bird diligently collect green objects (including an unattended key ring) for his potential love.  In the bird world, it’s Girl Power! all the way, it would seem.10960430_931215490224047_2663591319257657208_o.jpgThe pink galahs make me laugh!  It would appear, when it comes to love, no different than you and me.

I went through a phase after my divorce thinking it would be nice to be in a relationship.  I hadn’t factored in, life had changed me.  My standards and priorities were different.  I was stronger.  (Yes, Girl Power!).  Financially secure with adult children, was an attraction for some men, but they did not meet my criteria:  a man of integrity and social conscience.  I asked for nothing more.  You’d think I was asking for the world, but I know a man of that calibre would mean the world to me.

This evening the word prompt jogged my memory of a beautiful poem that encapsulated everything I felt in those days of search, so I’ll share it with you.

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (@ http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com)

I love this poem.  It speaks of a journey and many other journeys, some taken, some yet to be taken, some to be taken individually, others jointly.  It speaks of togetherness, of oneness of self, and with another.  I love the inherent spiritual nature of relationship in this poem.

So where am I today?  I no longer look.  I found oneness and togetherness in Nature.  I am in a happy place.  The danger, I’m told, is “this is when it happens”!

How contrary is life?

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

Window

Those of you who read my blog and know me personally will attest to my dislike for the promotion of technology as connection.  But I read something this morning ‘Christmas Presence’, beautifully written and evocative, on Elan Mudrow’s blog and it made me think about connection differently. (Apologies, I’m not tech savvy to link).  Thank you Elan.  You inspired me today.

People go online for different reasons. Some to find love while others find it unintentionally.  Having experienced both, I prefer the latter.  I no longer look for love in the wider world, but have enjoyed the thrill of a ping early morning or late at night that reminds me that I’m in someone’s thoughts that day.  But, it didn’t satiate a yearning.  A yearning for connection on a deeper level, where the unsaid is understood.  So I returned to the computer to write for an unknown, unseen audience where words connect and found vibrancy in my life again.

As a community we come together to write.  We are here because we love to do this.  Writing is a paradox.  We are solitary when we write and yet, we write to connect.  When we do, we are writers.

We write because we love words.  We love that we can play with them.  We build them up, tear them down, pull them apart, stomp on them, tip toe on them, dress them up into something else, chew them, spit them out, savour them in our mouth and mind.  In the moment they are our toys, not to be shared while we play with them, then we release them to make them communal playthings.  Make of it what you may.

The best is when one holds someone else’s words up to light and sees something unintended that brings joy.  We see a soul.

That to me, is connection.  And, like an electrical current, and much like falling in love, invisible until ignited.

DSCN8131

Window

Framed behind glass, your words are lit

alone in darkness, they are brighter,

so I return, peer through the fissure

where light escapes

to catch a glimpse

of you, again.

a dawn bird

 

When an end, is a beginning

It’s that time of year.  We may have played host or experienced the graciousness of another.  It’s a time of year when we connect to a Greater Being, others and self.  Hope your day was filled with love and laughter.

Raised a Catholic, Communion was a sacrament received every Sunday and sometimes, more often during the week.  For me, it symbolised oneness.  Long after my divorce the local parish priest advised me I could return to the church, but I could not bring myself to attend Mass and not receive communion.  It’s like being invited to dinner and then told you cannot join others at the table.  Year later I found a priest who encouraged me to receive communion, but I would have to go to reconciliation first.  The challenge for me is to find a priest who is deaf and has a strong heart!  I do believe one day I will be one with my community again because receiving the host is deeply meaningful to me.  The more human I become, my faith gets stronger.  The return of the prodigal is inevitable.  In the interim, I receive the host in other ways.

I often look at the full moon and see a host in the sky.  Much like receiving one, the full moon gives me a sense of oneness.  There is a certain benevolence in the luminosity, so I live in the light, even at midday.

I can recall one evening in Broome.  I was there for the Pearl Festival (Shinju Matsuri).  One of the iconic events is the Floating Lanterns.  I’ve written about it in another post  The full moon.

At that time I had been seeing someone and enjoyed many fun filled hours with him.  I usually don’t tell people what I do for a living until I know them well.  With him, it was easy talk for me.  I felt I could be myself from the first day we met.  Maybe it was me who relaxed more easily in his company and quicker than he did in mine.  It felt refreshing and safe.  Unlike me, he took longer to get there, and when he did, I realised I did not like what was revealed.  DSCN1501.jpgWe were on the beach on the night of the Floating Lanterns.  It was an enchanted sepia dusk, warm and balmy.  The lanterns glowed in the dark as the waves took them further away from the shore.  In that beautiful moment of a moving ceremony, I experienced an epiphany.  I had absolutely nothing to gain and even less to lose.  I wondered how I could extradite myself from the situation.  I turned my back to the ocean and started to walk back to our belongings.  This is what I saw.DSCN1479I knew in an instant where I was in my life.  I was at one with the real me.  That mattered a lot.  It had taken me years.  I was not prepared to compromise on anything and there was nothing worth compromising.  It was liberating to walk away.  An ending became a new beginning.

So here I am untethered again.  My heart is no longer a host to another but the warmth of hospitality remains undiminished.  When the time is right, my heart will be ready to play host again.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

 

Sea birth

DSCN9671.jpg

I had a dream,

I was in the middle of the ocean

Free as I can be

When I saw people in sand castles shouting,

“Away from the sea!”

I laughed and frolicked on

Played tag with the shore

explored forests of sea weed on my own

did a pirouette or two on the ocean floor

As the breakers took me further

Their cries faded in the wind

That’s when the realisation set in

I could not swim.

I bobbed in the briny water

Afloat on the scream within

Placed my trust in the mother

Whose womb, the sea became.

 

a dawn bird

Happy birthday, Dr T

Today the father of my children celebrates a special birthday.  Our children and his partner had been planning a celebration for months.  The children went to Bunbury for a special surprise lunch on the weekend.  People from his old workplace and other friends were there too, including his oldest son and his two children.  It was the first time our son met his half brother, their sister instrumental in this memorable moment.  This is something I dreamed about, for the three siblings, to generate a sense of family.

My son also wanted to do something special.  He told his father to memoralise the event, he thought the two of them should build a piece of furniture, so he had something he could cherish.  His father came to Perth earlier this week, they built a game table from scratch.  It is the second piece of furniture they have made together.  Over lunch yesterday I listened to our son talk about the memory of the experience.  His father is due for major surgery early next year.  Our son, it would appear, has taken over the role of main support person.  It made all the past hurt insignificant.

I walked away from a marriage with nothing but holding the hands of little children.  Even on days of struggle, I always believed I had the better deal.  My only caveat was that their father stay in their life.  To his credit, he honoured this while I worked hard for them to know, they were loved by both parents.

Our son is 27.  He does not remember the days when his father lived at home with us.  The marriage broke down when he was under three.

It is easy to rant and rave post divorce about who gets what and why.  I recall the divorce settlement where lawyers spoke for us.  Incensed by their arguments, which I felt disrespected all that was before the breakdown, I walked out.  I made my own choice and declined a more equitable financial settlement.  Despite being a student with limited money and even less time, my thinking was guided by maternal instinct.  I trusted we would survive temporary financial hardship, but long term, the gains of peace, were immeasurable.

So on this day of celebration of his life.  I am thankful to my ex husband for the gift of motherhood.  The gift has been an ongoing experience of learning how to forgive and how to articulate being safe and loved in family.  I believe we both achieved this as parents of little children, now young adults.

To those who struggle with distress, I’d recommend a peaceful resolution.  I’ve found, when we let go of pain, love takes up so much more room in the heart.

So Happy Birthday Dr T.  May you live the coming years in peace, comfort and happiness in the knowledge, your children love and respect you.

DSCN9200Despite our big feet we proved, we can still walk on water.

Acknowledging this, is my gift to you.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

An aunt, by any other name …

I’ve been waiting to share my memory of this aunt.  The time never seemed right.  But tonight seems an opportune time, as she was a teacher by profession and today being Teacher’s Day.

She was my mother’s oldest sister who came after two sons in a sibship of ten.  She was beautiful in youth, chiselled features, a twinkle in her eye, long dark hair draped over one shoulder.  She remained that way as she aged.

My aunt had a profound sense of responsibility for her siblings and cared for them like they were her children.  They, in turn, respected her authority.  She was an indulged daughter who was known by her nickname, Baby, by her parents, and later siblings that followed.  As the nieces and nephews came along, she asked us to call her ‘Baby Darling’.  Her reasoning was simple.  She never married and did not have anyone to call her darling.  We accepted this.

Her name tripped off our tongue with easy, “Baby Darling this …”, “Baby Darling that …”.  The memory of this makes the child in me smile.  She had a closet in her bedroom that she kept locked.  It was a treasure trove.  It was always overstocked with perfumes and chocolates, and we crowded around her for the treats she shared generously.  Despite all the beautiful bottles of perfume, I recall she had a strong preference for Tiger Balm for pain.  Imagined or real.

Unlike my mother, who was always immaculately groomed, my aunt spent her day in PJs and slippers.  Her reasoning, was simple.  She was home.  It was her castle where she was queen.  She could do what she liked.  If my mother objected and pleaded with her to dress for visitors, she would say, if they were offended, they could come back when she was dressed … which was never … and then follow this statement with a peal of laughter!  We loved her eccentricity.

She was fiercely protective of her siblings and the extended family.  She was the protector of all secrets.  As teenagers we confided in her with absolute trust.  Our secrets were safe in the vault of her heart.  She giggled like a young girl at our stories of teen love, then she would share little snippets of her love life.

There was a sadness in her life.  It made her eyes sparkle.  Oh! the sweet pain of forbidden, unattainable love, far from being a burden, made her glow from the inside. Tennyson’s words, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”, far from loss, was a triumph that glided her path.

As she walked with us step by step from childhood to teen years and beyond, little did she know, the children at her knee had learnt the best lesson about life.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird