Excerpt from a blog post I wrote back in the spring of 2011:
I love words and expanding my vocabulary. I read something last night which was interesting. The book is called The Inner Voice by C. W. Sanders. It is a small book, more like a poetry chapbook, published in India. I have no idea where I got it. I collect old and unusual books from various places. It’s been published 8 different times between the years of 1948 and 1983. I have the 1948 version. The following is from the preface:
“religion may be considered under two headings…esoteric and exoteric. Esoteric religion deals with spirit, bringing it freedom from mind and matter, now and not in the hereafter, its object being the uplift of the soul and its communion with God in this very life on earth. Exoteric religion aims more at ameliorating the condition and better in the status of its followers. It insists on the observance of religions duties, singing hymns, saying fervent prayers to please God, in the expectation of a reward in the hereafter.”
“The word religion comes from the root ‘re’ meaning ‘back’, and ‘ligare’, meaning ‘to bind’…The Way which binds our soul back with God.
It is not my place to say one view point is different than the other, or than one is better than the other. I can, however relate to the esoteric definition. Oh, and I looked of ameliorating. To ameliorate is to make better or more tolerable.
Lastly, here is a beautiful poem by Guru Nanak
What is the good of running to the forest
To find the Lord?
He resides within you
And pervades all your being,
Yet is apart.
God is within you
As the perfume is in the flower,
And the image in the mirror.
He is deep down
At the bottom of your hearts,
There He must be sought.
“When we remember our divinity
and not just our mortality,
we know that everything that happens
is a part of life,
and we are part of a divine dance.”
~Jean Shinoda Bolen~
Visits to my hometown are nostalgic. Memories from childhood come rushing back; long summer days swimming and climbing trees, deep white winter days sledding, and the crisp spring and fall months of school. On one of my recent visits, I walked to the neighborhood where my maternal grandmother lived, past the road that my siblings and I wandered along when we went from our house to Grandmother’s. It is no longer a road, but a path. It reminds me of Alice in Wonderland or maybe a scene out of The Lord of the Rings.
Flowers don’t worry
About how they’re
going to bloom.
They just open up
And turn toward the light
makes them beautiful
I love the idea of a walking meditation. There are many places to walk here where I love, either up the hill, down towards the river, or right out the back door. Yesterday I walked down by the creek. The sound of the water trickling over the rocks, the stand of baby evergreen trees, the dry pine needles on the ground, the different rocks; all of these are the quiet miracles of nature. I think of my grandsons at times like these. When they were little, nature walks were one of our favorite activities.
Written words can get worn out like mismatched socks in the back of a dresser drawer; or stale like a loaf of old bread growing moldy in the breadbox. Words are not always adequate to express what needs to be articulated or communicated. Sometimes my pen collects dust on the desk along with the empty pad of paper or the computer screen stares back at me with its blank screen. Why try? I say to myself. There is no point in this. Who cares what I have to say? What can be expressed that hasn’t been said before?
I would have to spend every minute of my life writing to complete my opus. As it is my existence with all its distractions keeps knocking me off task. On the other hand if it wasn’t for daily life what would there be to express? I’ve often thought that the creative process is much like being pregnant; from the conception of an idea, through the labor of writing to the birth of the finished work. I am also protective of my “babies” before I send them out into the world, whether they are poems, essays to contests, or blog posts.
I have a couple of writer friends who are willing to read my work and offer reflections, but not everyone gets as excited as I do. I have emailed posts or links to my blogs to friends or family, expecting an immediate response and what I get is, “I haven’t had time to read your email”, or “I saved your post to read another time. I am really busy.” People have busy lives; I have come to terms with that. I continue writing every day on whatever the muse brings forth, and she can be elusive or demanding at any given moment. The point is to make myself available.
Memoirs, like all stories, need to have focus; a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is my biggest challenge, this focus. I imagine there are those who are curious about what it was like living in a religious cult or how I recovered from years of domestic violence as a battered woman. Where do I start? My personal story has taken on a life of its own and now that I have perspective (and hopefully some wisdom) maybe my story will inspire or give encouragement to another and make a difference is someone’s life.
There is always the question; fact or fiction? Maybe it isn’t a memoir that I should be writing, but a work of fiction; changing the names to protect the privacy of those I have known over the years. No matter, for me it’s all about the journey. I write because I believe words can give hope, healing and voice the universal and serves a purpose that is larger than my individual life.
Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” ― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
Better to face reality then to pretend. This is not always pleasant, and I don’t relish confrontation. I have realized over the years that anger is not productive but sometimes it is the only tool I have. The kitty can only take so many pokes and pulling of the tail before the lion has to roar and say enough. I have had enough.
Life is not easy; relationships are not easy. Life is a miracle, too, and there are so many wonderful and pleasing things to be thankful for. I have come to recognize is that as much pain as I have experienced, the heartbreak, the depression, the sadness also carves out that much joy. Whether I can see it in the moment or not. I am glad I am a real person.