Beauty can be found
in a leaf lost on the ground.
Feel the peace let loose.
Beauty can be found
in a leaf lost on the ground.
Feel the peace let loose.
And the bird sang good
morning then flew on her way.
The air, at once, fresh.
Beauty is the life
That is shared in grace and faith.
For each breath, give thanks.
Inside my brain, the hamster is working its wheel. There’s nothing dramatic in the cage currently – it is simply full and spinning. Every effort I make to stop and take note of some part of it reveals another stash of pellets for me to consider.
Maybe a hamster isn’t the best analogy. For one, I don’t feel very rodent-like. And two, it’s much too cliche for my attempt at writing a new angle blog.
Let’s start over.
Inside my skull, the beta swims quick loops around its small tank. The same pebbles and plastic greenery are still there with each passing turn. The water fills my lungs and yet I need to surface for air and food which often gets lost in the constant circling.
Ugh. Nope – fish out of water also too over done.
Lion at the zoo in a too small habitat? Caged bird that is afraid it cannot sing? Sisyphus on a treadmill of stones? Random sock lost in the dryer that keeps spinning on high heat? Durang’s George dressed as Mother Courage thrust onstage in what appears to be Charlie’s Angels but with Jerry Matthers as the elusive Harvey the rabbit? Frog in a blender on pulse? Tiny worker ant confined to its own mound of dirt pining for the greater universe?
Clearly, I could go on and on trying to describe what it feels like to be me in my life without ever actually writing about the actualities of my existence. And, currently, all of the comparisons seem to point to me feeling a bit too routine, too ordinary – too normal. While at the same time, almost too timid to express these longings for fear of losing the infinite blessings that fill my cage/tank/habitat/universe.
So, I write it down. Or, I think about writing it down but trip on my way to the computer trying to make the words come out perfectly the first time. Or, I deem the laundry more important. Or, the checkbook balancing act. Or, internet surfing under the guise of trying to find an interesting subject to kick start my next blog.
Today the life of Kathleen involves the remaining chores to get the house in order before going back to work and school on Monday, getting our son over to/back from a friend’s house to play for a while, making sure the other child is entertained as she gets jealous when he gets to out, grocery shopping, outdoor Christmas lights down and put away, cleaning my home desk area, clipping the dog’s nails, watching some football without the Cowboys, craig’s listing two ellipticals we no longer want, and checking to make sure my kids don’t have lice after spending a week with their cousin who did.
See? I sound like I’m whining when I should be grateful to have these two beautiful children, or a marriage and relationship that has lasted nearly eighteen years, or a home to clean that’ s not in foreclosure, or money to buy groceries. I AM GRATEFUL – every day of my life, I am grateful.
I am also human. A human woman who is now 41 who life far exceeds any dreams I could have ever had as a child as to what family meant or even what it meant to grow up.
So, I know the universe loves and accepts me when the contented routines of each day get paused as I walk through a day-dream of adventure in my own Kath-Bourne Identity traveling the globe fighting terrorism in search of my true past self under the guise of being a worldwide respected actor onstage in her own works sharing an ethereal connection with Sting carrying my Nobel Poetry and Peace prize in the back pocket of my size six jeans.
Once upon a time, there was a mostly happy ant who lived in a mostly happy sector of the universe.
The ant had everything it needed to live its happy little life – a home, plenty of sweets and other ants to love and be loved by.
Being a part of the universe was very important to this ant and more often than not, the ant felt very strong and capable to participate in all that needed to be done to keep the universe going.
There were moments though, when the ant’s faith faltered. The ant seemed to get a glimpse outside of its universe to see the bigger universe in which it also lived.
That was scary for this little ant. It made the ant want to huddle up within its home, hide all of its sweets and not let the other ants it loved and was loved by out of its sight.
That, of course, was not possible. The ant had work to do to help keep its home and it had to share its sweets in order to continue receiving them. The ant’s loved ones had their own lives, too, no matter how old they were or how much the ant loved them or they loved the ant.
The ant understood this in its head, but sometimes the ant’s feelers would get confused and the ant’s feelings would by-pass the head down to the very center of its trunk. Then its trunk would begin to ache and try to send feelings back to its feelers for guidance.
The ant’s head would get in the way and not let the feelings out. They would bottle up behind the ant’s eye and as a result, its pinchers would tighten and its claws would sharpen. Tight pinchers and sharp claws made it difficult for the ant to work to keep its home, enjoy its sweets and even love and be loved.
This happened off and on for the ant over many years of living in its universe. And being so small, a few days or hours could seem like a lifetime for this ant. It was during these times the ant would get very lonely and wonder if it really belonged in its home or deserved its sweets. The ant went so far as to question the love that was in its life.
But the ant was not able to express how lonely it got and would only ask these questions inside, not to other ants. For when the ant got so very lonely and felt so very small, its fear of not being happy at all anymore was stronger than its trust in the greater good of its life.
The ant would go to bed each night and try to remember all of the wonderfulness it had in its life and universe. It would wake up each morning hoping to remember that its home was safe, its sweets were precious and its love divine.
Usually the universe helped the ant and gave tiny ant-sized signs to remind it that it was, is and always will be a most beloved and integral part of not only its universe but also the universe in which its universe lived.
And the one beyond that, too.
Three women I have never met yet who were instrumental in my survival during some dark days in my marriage and life. Their voices and words from three albums in particular – Wide Open Spaces, Fly, Home – were on constant repeat mode in my iPod with my headphones plastered to my ears for nearly a year or longer back in late 2002 and all of 2003.
IMHO, Marriage is a journey with two people who at the base of their relationship love each other in such a profound way as to commit to share the rest of their lives together. Sometimes the journey takes the couple to exotic locations where their minds and bodies become like intensely familiar entities who have been connected long before they met in this life. Other times, the road darkens and couples get separated and lost in a dense jungle of terrifying emotion and doubt. Mostly, I have discovered, the path is more like a hike up a favorite mountain trail – a bit rocky and steep at points but with long stretches of open terrain where we simply walk together holding hands, and now, leading our family.
It was during one of our trips to what seemed like the deepest part of the Congo where even breathing was difficult that I discovered the Dixie Chicks. I had not previously listened to them, but heard a song on the radio and knew they understood what I was feeling. So I bought the CDs in quick succession and played them over and over again alternately weeping, singing at the top of my lungs alone in the car, and dancing with my children in the living room.
It was as if their music was sent to me specifically at that time as an outlet for all of the unexplainable emotions my heart was breaking from. They let me sing with them even though I had no idea how to join in a harmony or even match their melody. When I sang with the Dixie Chicks, I was singing pure emotion and it was perfect.
I was reminded of this time in my life when I recently rediscovered my long forgotten, battery impaired iPod.
I was also sent others in this sisterhood who were not abstract voices purchased at the music store, but real women who had been to similar jungles, loved and survived their own harrowing trips and clung to my side, holding me up until I once again believed I could stand on my own.
I am still married and am grateful for it. I love my husband and am so glad we both decided to come out of the jungles together to proceed on our trek through some wondrous countryside that we might have missed had we given up.
I am, also, grateful for all of these women, their voices, and my ability to join them in this life. I continue to meet more amazing women who share my joys, struggles and general love of the whole spectacular rave.
‘Cuz some days you gotta dance…