Handle with Care

They say there are no accidents, those that throw such weight behind limited wisdom. Maybe so, maybe not. But today, sitting in a bookstore whiling away the time, I ran across this post I had saved in draft mode a while ago. As fate would have it, it is exactly what I needed to hear.
Today. Funny how that can work. 😉

Thank You.



The life we forget to live is our own.

The craft most urgently needed is to attend life’s unfolding with the same care as one has for the borrowed lamp on the living room table.

It is priceless and must be returned in a while.

It is a beauty (born the same day love was conceived) that stops the eye,

even as nicks of time appear–

a devil wind spilling it,

overzealous polishing,

a child’s ball.

That craft finds a way to love what comes, with joy or sorrow.

Never forced or contrived, it remains in a fluid state.

Never consumed, it is deprived of nothing, but rather increased, by its object.

It remains forever in the background, a penumbral glow to the dawn and dusk of experience.

This craft, of love, of urgency, is that of real desire.

Desire lives in the absence of its fulfillment and grows fuller.

Since what it seeks can never be won, desire moves restlessly about,

“a mighty hunter, and a master of device and artifice” (Plato, Symposium).

Most energetic in a still moment of existence, its ceaseless pursuit of that which lives beyond–Life–nourishes the world.

Its transit of the space of its longing opens a heart to what there is.

A faintest glimpse of its object intensifies yearning, loosening bonds of petty thoughts and vain appetites.

What is this craft, and how does a householder practice it?

He carefully wipes dust from the window each morning to let the sun in. Shining through, the sun illuminates the care with which the home is kept.

— David Appelbaum Everyday Spirits



I’m leaving you with this:

Can’t remember EXACTLY when I wrote it (definitely in the last couple of years)

…but I loved it then as I do now!


You are the memory that smiles through my yesterday,

the thread holding together my today,

and the promise of my tomorrow’s assurance of a sunrise…


A Loss of Innocence in Madison

So many days passed, so many words lost  into that constant we call “time”!

Despite recent struggles with articulating thoughts, I haven’t abandoned this, my respite.  But I do find myself more and more in need of that fictitious thing called a “Pensieve” : (“I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind…. At these times… I use the Pensieve.  One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure.” ~JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). Unfortunately, that is not an option for me.

Earlier today I was trying to remember a word I heard over 14 years ago. It was a word I read in the documents an attorney had given my husband and I describing the particulars of what somebody was suing us for following a car accident. I stress the word because, while the law in this state is if you rear end someone you’re automatically considered at fault, the facts of the accident were that we clipped a vehicle that was stopped, under a green light, with no brake lights on. Had my husband NOT swerved to avoid this vehicle as soon as he realized that it was not moving, we would have probably had much, MUCH more damage to both property and life. Ultimately we were indemnified, but that wasn’t where I was going with this.

As we looked over the document (in complete disbelief), it said we were being sued for emotional distress and (some word I can’t remember). The attorney explained that the SPOUSES of the 2 women in the other car were suing us for “loss of companionship” and that the other (unknown) word meant basically that these women were one way before the accident and now they were irrevocably changed. He further explained that because of the subjective nature of the claim, it was almost impossible to disprove. I wish I could remember that word, but from what I found today while looking, it is now referred to as “Quality of life damages (sometimes called hedonic): the inability to enjoy life or activities as before the harm.

A while ago, I wrote a post on the loss of innocence. The difficulties in having to watch as my children were painfully ushered into adulthood by life’s realities.

We watch as they go from believing everything,

to believing mostly,

to trying to sustain belief in the face of doubtful encounters with their peers,

to acknowledging that the magical KNOWING of things in their world has faded,

to experiencing life’s tragedies and knowing what grief feels like inside their own skins,

to questioning everything with a sometimes cynical expectation that their perceptions of the worst case scenario will become reality.

As a parent this is the part of having kids that pains me the most. Even as I realize that we are the sum of ALL our experiences and that people learn and grow most by walking through life’s storms.

The events of this past Friday here in our smallish town reflected every parent’s worst nightmare. Every parent who had a child in either of the middle schools or high school felt that free-falling  in the pit of their stomach as their cell phones went off, messages from their child or friends stating, “There’s been a shooting at school”.

WHAT?! Disbelief was short lived as my cell phone began an almost staccato peppering of beeps with tweets and messages from others confirming that yes, it was true and that the middle school my child does NOT go to was on lockdown while they rushed a 14 year old boy in “extremely critical condition” to the hospital and apprehended the 15 year old boy who fired the gun.

As a relief washed over me that it wasn’t MY children’s schools involved, the next thought sent my stomach plummeting again: oh my sweet Lord, the parents whose children were involved!

As my heart ached, I did the only thing I knew I COULD do: I began to pray. From the center of the maelstrom, with each rippling wave of fear outward, this event touched every soul in this small community. Even as I prayed for peace to deride the impetus of fear that flows from grief, I did so with the understanding that a time-dividing moment had occurred, forever separating life “before the shooting” and “after the shooting”. Even in families with children too young to know what had happened, the unspoken fear inside a parent’s heart can be felt. Hedonic damages have occurred in our lives. A harm has been visited on each of us that will affect our lives – our children’s lives – altering the way we perceive the world around us.

And no matter how we each react to our own personal fears and grief, no matter how sincerely we believe in Providence’s infinite healing powers to surpass all our finite understanding, no matter how we move through our grief to the other side, an innocence has been lost and cannot be restored.

My youngest went to the “other” middle school. When news came to her in the final class of the day, the students responded by joining hands and praying. When she arrived home, after being hugged for an exceptionally long time by her mama, I asked her if she wanted to talk about what had happened.

“Nah, not right now. I’m just going to go up to my room, okay?”

And she went upstairs to her room and did what she does: turned on her computer and began to type. This is what she had to say, not wanting to talk much at all:


((I know. What business do I have writing this? I didn’t know them. I had no connection, at least none directly.
But I had to. I don’t know why, I just had to write something. and this is what came out.)

They say it sounded like a door slam,
Or a popped balloon, with whatever inside released;
But something shattered a life, a community,
And at the same time, shattered peace

I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t know,
The bullet screamed inside the other school
All I know is everyone’s breath caught
At the knowledge of somebody, taken so cruel

It was a whispered start,
One that could stop a heart –
“Someone’s been shot, someone’s been shot,
Someone at Discovery, they’ve been shot.”

It wasn’t our problem,
Our school wasn’t the site of this plan
But you wouldn’t know that by our closed eyes,
Our begging words, our clasped hands

The mayor flickers on the TV behind me,
Reassuring, and talking, with information to tell;
But all that comprehends is the names, the ages,
And not, not ever, the reason they fell

The information keeps pouring
And I’m reeling back, horrified
He WAS my age, He WAS a good guy,
Now…he’s not alive

In the pit of my stomach, something cold turns
As the impact hits me with the unspeakable force;
There is truly no one that I know of,
Truly no one who has it worse

Then the women that must close their eyes tonight
And dream of their baby boys’ faces;
Forevermore, now they can only touch,
A headstone, stamped with names and ages

Then the men who have to look down,
And try to understand their sons’ eyes;
One pair dark, lifeless, closed forever,
One pair unready to face the jury’s tries

Then the friends who will return
To the scene, in three days’ time;
Will they walk like zombies, staring at the ground,
Or will they laugh and talk and pretend everything’s fine?

What lead up to this?
What could we of done?
Was there some route somebody could’ve taken
That would save more than one family’s son?

We’ll never know now,
A community in shock
We taste the bitter words,
But we just can’t talk

I didn’t know them;
Now, I never will
But the web of connections leads me far away
And the feeling keeps my soul unstill

Rest in peace, Stranger;
Your death has brought us all to our knees
And whatever made you do it, Shooter,
I hope you realize what you’ve done to our peace



View the Community Meeting held Sunday here:

Live the Questions

If patience is a virtue, then I must not be a very virtuous woman! 😉   Sigh…



Live the questions in your heart
© 2009 ~ L2B Photography

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…

Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you

because you will not be able to live them. And the point is,

to live everything. Live the questions now.

Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it,

live along some distant day into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

An Apprentice to Love

I’ve had sick kiddos lately. But sometimes it allows me more time to meander through the pages of books! 🙂  While reading several very good books, what I’ve BOUGHT is poetry.  And I ran across this beautiful passage:

The Great WorkLove
Is the great work
Though every heart is first an

That slaves beneath the city of Light.

This wondrous trade,
This magnificent throne your soul
Is destined for-

You should not have to think
Much about it,

Is it not clear
An apprentice needs a teacher
Who himself

Has charmed the universe
To reveal its wonders inside his cup.

Happiness is the great work,
Though every heart must first become
A student

To one
Who really knows
About Love.

(translated by Daniel Ladinsky)

“An apprentice to love.” I like that. 🙂



Just Do It

Just DO it!

Just DO it!

You’ll seldom experience regret for anything that you’ve done.
It is what you haven’t done that will torment you.
The message, therefore, is clear.
Do it!
Develop an appreciation for the present moment.
Seize every second of your life and savor it. ~Dr. Wayne Dyer
I have spent the summer months taking this message, in its various forms, to heart.  I did NOT spend as much time in front of my computer as I have in the past, opting instead for having some “me and you time” with my family and friends. Mostly family.
Nothing elaborate, mind you. Silly things like hanging out in the kitchen while making something or watching TV while snuggling on the couch or visiting family in not too distant cities or goofy golf outings or running errands with my youngest (who never wanted to go before now! Go figure…).

In each activity I made a conscious choice to try and slow down – appreciate whatever opportunities were there to be had. Laughter… easy conversations… listening… learning more about these people who are traveling through this life with me.
And when I felt myself slipping into what is familiar to me – the half-listening, making lists in my head of what I “needed” to get done, and the myriad of other ways I slip out of the moment –  I sometimes would stop myself and say to myself,

“Hey! YOU! You may not get this opportunity again, silly woman!  Everything will get done that needs to, in its own timeline! But you are NOT guaranteed a ‘later’ with your family or friends.  Especially your children. Focus on now.”

Don’t get me wrong – we have days where we co-exist peacefully by minimally interacting! You stay in your rooms, I’ll stay out of them. The kids ARE teenagers, after all! LoL 🙂  But when I’m approached and invited to be a part of their worlds, I’d like to know that I willingly (note: that does NOT mean impatiently or begrudgingly) stop what I’m doing and enjoy and engage in LIFE.  Because having one who has already grown up and is out on her own, I know that these moments are followed by time filled with friends and school, then off to college, with the perfunctory occasional “visits home”.

The days of invitation are swift and precious and become memories in the wake of our lives.
I think the memories of this past summer are some that I can reflect on without too much regret of missed things! I hope anyone reading this, by doing so, will seek the same.

Leaving you with an excerpt from some prose I penned and posted in the past – about time that was well spent on people passing through my life, missed in my world today:
The winds of time blow freely through the hole left in my life,

but the experience!

Would I be able to hear the song played out in the whistling through that gap
…without having had it all?”

Enjoy your day! Literally 😉

Dancing on Through

Michele showing c.a. how to FLY


“You will find meaning in life only if you create it.

It is not lying there somewhere behind the bushes, so you can go and you search a little bit and find it.

It is not there like a rock that you will find.

It is a poetry to be composed,

it is a song to be sung,

it is a dance to be danced.”

– Osho

When you stumble… make it part of the dance.

~Author Unknown
But Very Much Appreciated!