The Hard, Cold Snow

The Coming of the Snow

The hard, cold snow is here,

The kind that makes you wince.

The great, crackling steps one takes that sink unexpectedly,

Mother earth reminding you she’s but a heavy footfall away.

So a morning walk becomes impossible and the dog, depressed.

Your husband reminds you how he loves the winter but

You remember how warm sun feels and how each morning contains freedom.

There are those who live outside and those who live inside.

The watchers and the livers

Each needs the other to remind them what they miss

Not better or worse

Just different.

Letting Go When There Is No Rope Left

Letting Go When There’s No Rope Left

I have a friend who is trying to get divorced. This has been going on for two years. The marriage was a good length, (ten years), and a good part of it was not unhappy but the divorce has turned into a nightmare of hatred, accusations, bitterness, anger, paranoia and deep despair on the part of both parties.

There were no children involved, several properties purchased together, and a long stream of expenses for their life paid for by my friend who gave his partner free rein to do what she wanted in terms of the household accounts. By the time he realized most of his money was gone it was too late for reason or recompense: his life had become unbearable as daily verbal abuse had escalated to the point of physical pain. There was no surviving the atmosphere in the house, no love left between the two marital participants, and so my friend left.

His partner filed for divorce immediately and thus began the long history of demands for money, property, shares in imagined earnings, financial reports, tax returns, and appearances in court, depositions and more depositions. Interestingly enough, at this point in time my friend’s net worth had diminished to one tenth that of his wife’s yet she continued to threaten, hire new lawyers, fire old accountants, make new lists about what she wanted, hide possessions from my friend, and make her life’s goal destroying her husband.

Now I ask myself “Why?” If I were in the same position would I behave in the same way? Of course not. I am a reasonable person who likes to work things out and find reasonable solutions to problems. I like to have situations that are emotionally complicated solved as smoothly and expediently as possible as drawing them out only serves to upset one’s health and make oneself look like a fool in the community. People that continually fight over nothing and act in irrational ways are usually ostracized by others and find them alone and unloved in their lives. Who would actively make a choice to live like this?

Why am I writing about this today? I think it’s a really good lesson to all of us about how to destroy your life and your Karma. Holding anger, retribution and bitterness inside yourself is a good mechanism to destroy your own life. I think it does more damage than smoking. Imagine inhaling all that rage each day with every breath and then imagine not being able to release it. Imagine getting into arguments with everyone that surrounds you and then not having any real friends left. Imagine acting in a way that is dangerous to you and to others. Then take a breath and wonder why.

I think people get so caught up in their battles they forget why they began them in the first place. Much like all the needless wars we have been involved with we often can’t remember why we started to hate each other. We forget our compassion towards others and towards ourselves. We exist on our own fear and we can’t even see how it is destroying our lives. We lose all reason and all awareness of our own behavior and become fearful individuals who are living solitary lives as it becomes too risky to trust anyone else.

How many stories out there are like that of my friend? How many people hold on to old stuff as its familiar: pain is familiar. It may not be pleasant but sometimes fear makes us choose the familiar rather than the new as the new cannot be predicted.

I am no angel. Believe me I know that and I am aware of my own failings just as others are. I am writing this to make sense of the situation to me as well as to you as it seems so insane. The only thing I do know to be absolutely true is that operating from a fear based self will ultimately ruin your life and leave you with no friends or family to support you. In the end as they say we die alone but I hope when I die there are people who love me all around who can send me on my way to a new plane with love and joy. After all, there is really nothing else worthwhile in life but love.

 

Remembering something you thought you wouldn’t again

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Remembering Something You Thought You Wouldn’t Again

I believe in love and second chances. I believe in the power of memory. I love to reflect on whom I might have married or where I might have lived. I love nothing more than a glance from an attractive man in a public place which says to me “I am interested.”

What I love most of all, however, is the return of a flirtation you thought you had lost and the possibility of an old passion being rekindled.

There is nothing better in life than friendship begun at age four which continues to flourish. Nothing finer than an old designer piece which you wore at 30 still cupping your shoulders with certainly and still making you feel great.

I prefer the old to the new. I prefer the childhood memories to many new memories. I find the thought of an erotic encounter which took place at 24 infinitely more erotic in my mind today than any new ones I might have, except with one single man!

The art of writing romantic letters is seemingly lost today but I have been experiencing it recently with the greatest of pleasure. Imagine before going to sleep that you receive an email from someone you thought you had lost many years ago and that email was filled with love and remembrances of your past together, even painting a bit of what might be in future?

Imagine how that feels? How happy it makes you to think someone else many miles away is having the same thoughts you are having. Isn’t life grand? The really amazing thing is if you have no attachment to the outcome and only feel the joy of love, you can enjoy it even more.

Each little sound bite being sent electronically over IPAD’s  day to day add to the wonderful building and waxing and waning tension of this feeling of love and desire yet there may be no consummation. I think I have learned one lesson in life after all these years: don’t live in a fantasy state particularly when starting out in a relationship or the hope of a relationship. It’s a bad idea.  Really looking and listening and understanding what the other person is about is a good thing. Feeling giddy is a really good thing. Having hope is an even better thing. Holding hands is the best thing in the whole world even when it is done electronically.

Lament to Valentine’s Day

Early 20th century Valentine's Day card, showi...
Image via Wikipedia

Lament to Valentine’s Day

I am not sure why it exists but do realize it has something to do with St Valentine, maybe Cupid, and definitely Hallmark cards. I start to worry about Valentine’s Day a few weeks before it happens. Why do I worry, you might ask? Right. Normal people don’t worry. Normal people just laugh at the reoccurrence of this holiday and sometimes buy chocolate, or send a sappy card, or maybe invite their significant other to dinner and then forget about it.

Single people get stressed! It is another example of how the whole world appears to be in love and you are the only loser who has no one to have dinner with on Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of admirers or even a big support system, being unable to count on a Valentine’s Day date is a problem.

I am in a vacation spot at the moment and it is filled with red, heart shaped objects. I can’t identify the origin of some of them. Most seem faintly pornographic to me. I know this is a bad sign and probably represents a huge jealous streak but it is the absolute truth. I am embarrassed to look into these windows feeling as if I am not entitled to look. I find this a really interesting feeling. I know if you want to find a partner you are supposed to visualize what that would feel and look like in your life. Sometimes it is hard to take this seriously as it gets tiresome. Most things that feel too serious to me are abandoned into humor.

So I have been working on this Valentine’s Day issue and thinking of what it means. I guess to many of us single people holidays remind us anyway of our lack of a partner and this is the worst one. Yes, it’s superficial and ridiculous and faintly pornographic as I said before but it still is bothersome to many. I found that even married people don’t like it as their expectations are often dashed and they are disappointed but unwilling to say anything. This applies to both men and women.

Love is not just a word. It’s a constantly changing force between two people whether mother and child, father and son, husband and wife, or two people who are slowly falling in love. Why do we call it “falling in love”? Think about it. You have the sense of falling and having no control at all. You can’t control the object of your affection nor can you make them behave in the way you think you want them to. In the beginning of a love affair nothing can be counted on, not even reciprocal love. Everything has to go on faith and for most of us this is really hard. The older you get the harder this becomes.

I wish I had an answer but I don’t. I think the only way to approach anything stressful is to remind yourself to detach all the time and to remember that longing or grasping or wanting is only doing harm to yourself. It feels much better to just observe and notice what’s going on and to love whomever you feel like loving without looking for something in return.

“The Razor’s Edge”

Cover of "The Razor's Edge"
Cover of The Razor's Edge

Why The Razor’s Edge is still so appealing….

Recently a good friend of mine recommended that I read The Razor’s Edge and so I picked it up on my way to Lenox, Massachusetts.  Once I began to read the book, I was hooked as I found it to be a great story about the meaning of life. Unlike the popular hit of paper and film. “Eat, Pray, Love”, I was engrossed in the movement of the main character and his approach to and passion for understanding life and finding purpose. Why did this book so deeply touch me? I recommend that you read it if you haven’t already.

I have always believed that if I tried hard enough and kept searching long enough I would reach a place of understanding of my life and my purpose on this earth. I assumed that others felt the same way as I do. As life has gone on I have begun to understand  that some share this quest of mine while others are content to merely live out their lives and do what is expected of them, rarely questioning the path they find themselves on. If you are lucky enough to have been born into a family with resources it is obviously easier to be on this quest for meaning as you have more time on your hands. Let’s face it, if you have to struggle to pay your bills or have serious health issues, or have been  fired from a solid job after 20 years as many have today, you don’t have the luxury of sitting back and reflecting on what the meaning of life should be. Your focus is on basic survival and what it means rather than what your path should be.

Having children also prevents a lot of reflection as once you have a child you will never again be responsible for just yourself: you will always have someone more important than you to look out for. While I understand that it isn’t a good idea to put the life of your child above your own, I think it is practically impossible to avoid not doing this once you have one. My father used to say, “You are only as happy as your most unhappy child.” And I think there is some truth to that statement.

The Razor’s Edge resonated with me as I have never been able to lead a life of leisure, even now at my advanced age. I find parties exhausting and cocktail parties, the most exhausting. I hate having to dress in “appropriate” clothing though I love beautiful clothes.  When I find myself in lovely restaurants I often feel frozen as if I am an actress in a play. It is extremely rare for me to be able to sit at a table with someone for more than an hour or so and when I find I have done that I know I have found a treasure of a human being.

This novel speaks of society and our role in whatever society we are a part of, and examines the value of a life within certain groups versus a life lived without expectations of behavior and only a quest for meaning.  Taking the path of enlightenment may mean giving up structure as well as acceptable behavior in order to find one’s soul.

Recently I have been feeling as if I am not sure where I should live or what my path should be. I have lived on both coasts: one is better for me socially and the other, professionally. I find myself dissatisfied with only a good social life and long for satisfying work, and when I am happily working I feel lonely returning home at night to an empty house. I know there is a reason I am facing this challenge as I know I have to make a decision about where to live very soon. I think as you get older you find yourself thinking about how many years you have left on this planet and what kind of life you want to have. To me, the best life is one filled with love and where you believe you are making a contribution to the world around you. Finding that life is what I am up to now.

I loved the book because I am also searching for a meaningful life and I feel as if I have to make a type of vision quest to do it. Most of my life I have been too easily influenced by the opinion of others, though no one that knows me would agree with that statement. I think we all are. Finding our bliss, as Joseph Campbell stated, can only be done by focusing on what it is that brings us joy. For me, it is often helping others, making them laugh, donating to charities, or just having someone in my life that I cherish and love to come home to at the end of the day. In my heart I am a pretty simple person. I started out that way and find that the older I get. The simpler I become.

The happiest life I can imagine is to live with someone you love very much and have work that brings you great joy, whether it is a certain regular job or more creative endeavors. I wonder how many of you agree with me and are lucky enough to have both.

You are Mostly Wrong!

All of you who argued with me about leaving time to cool off, I disagree. I still think it’s a good thing. Kissing on the first date is fine for some but for a lot of us it leads to hopes and dreams.

I am considering entering a nunnery. I would look really good in a wimple: innocent and wise. I could wander around the cloister playing “How do you solve a problem like Lucinda?” on my IPOD and eat only gruel. I could obey silence but only when the big cheese sister was looking. But forget the hair shirt. I would  have trouble with that. Also the narrow bed. What would I do with Rosie? Nuns are allowed to have dogs now. My friend, Sister Ruth, has two!

I like womanual labor. I like tidying up things around the house and I am very handy. I fix almost everything here. I think I will choose a cloister where they make cheese as I have always wanted to learn that. Also prayer. I like prayer. I pray to the nature God and to the Goddess of Compassion.

No Mad Men there, however. That would be a problem!

Leave time to cool off…

Hot Things

If you take something off the stove after it boils and let it sit, after a while it will cool off.

This is my latest credo in life.

It works for everything.

Love affairs

Arguments

Business decisions.

It is just a great mantra for life.

If something feels too hot to handle then let it sit and you will understand it better.

If you meet someone who makes you speechless, wait and see how you feel after a few days without thinking of them.

If you argue with someone you love, don’t be needy and dependant, give them the space to heal.

If you have to make a decision that fills you with anxiety, wait until you know the answer.

Don’t send emails immediately.

Don’t kiss on the first date.

Hold your breath and believe in magic and buy some Dalmatian stones for joy and fun.

Take a drive out to Marshal and stay at Nick’s Cove and you will believe again in Nick and Nora or Bogie and Bacall and all your dreams will be revitalized.

More on Abandonment and Car Accidents

Why write?

I write because I have to write. I have been writing since I was in third grade. At first it was about my dog and now it is still about my dog and sometimes about my men. All right, all you readers out there in web land who gave me a hard time today about abandonment fears, I don’t believe you really feel any differently than me. I think we all share the same fears about opening your heart and so we stay in bad marriages and relationships thinking we are doing the right thing. There’s nothing wrong with doing that. I will argue, however, that each and every one of us is scared. We are so frightened of anything that shakes our emotional selves and so we avoid having that happen.

Today was not the best day for me. It seemed as if the universe was filled with shooting stars with very pointed edges that continually and unpredictably fell all over us. I was driving into the city and listening to Frank who always calms me when an enormous Cadillac Explanation or whatever it is called drove into me. Literally! On Van Ness avenue! The man who was driving was an angry man who wanted to pretend it was my fault but the damage to my car clearly said it was done by the Explanation. I found myself frightened by the man and by his anger and wanted him to apologize to me which he never did. As a matter of fact, he never said one word to me. The policeman who was my guardian angel made him give all his documentation to me and kept asking me if I was hurt. I wasn’t hurt, just shaken like James Bond and his martini.

Protection against stress is hard to find and precious to have. We need to nurture it daily and remind ourselves that it should be a practice. I find that practicing love and forgiveness is the most important ritual I have. If I forget to practice I can so easily fall into fear and anger. People always tell me how strong I am and I know it is true. I have survived many things but the most difficult thing to do for me is to walk the line between kindness and weakness because the world confuses the two.  Kindness seems to be love without looking for something in return and weakness seems to be fear.  Is there a bumper sticker there?

Mercury goes retrograde on Friday so beware of any communication happening around that time. Tonight the air is soft and the sky, still. My garden is fragrant with the scent of gardenias and thoughts of tenderness. I believe in magic and always will.

The Stress of Attraction, the Fear of Abandonment

The Stress of Attraction…The Fear of Abandonment

It doesn’t get any easier to find someone…everyone thinks it will get easier as they get older, but guess what? It feels worse. The other night I was minding my own business, well kindove minding my own business, and circulating at a wonderful dinner by the Truckee River in Lake Tahoe when across a crowded room I saw a guy! It was hard not to miss him. Tall, cool, like the Marlboro man but in an artistic mode. I was entranced and captivated and though I am close to retirement age I couldn’t help but get a little short of breath. Subversively I watched the man. No wedding ring. No sign of a hovering female. No apparent behavior that said, “I am weird.”

I said to myself don’t even think of it, Lucinda. I sounded very strict, even to me. I have made a pact, you see, to not even think of getting involved with a man again unless there is a chance of a lifetime commitment. Let’s face it, there’s not much of a lifetime left for me. So maybe that’s not much of a wish, but I am taking it very seriously. I am not going to be swayed by shoulders, beautiful bone structure or tiny hips. Well, maybe I will take them in, but not be swayed by them. Oh no, I am looking for a serious heart companion. Someone who will watch my back. Someone who will adore me and I will adore back in the same amount. Well, maybe he will adore me a tiny bit more because it is always better to be the beloved rather than the lover.

Anyway, back to my story. I refused to acknowledge in any way I was interested in this man and asked the universe to be in control of the attraction. Before I knew it we were sitting side by side having dinner. I swear I am innocent in this. I did not bat an eye nor beckon a baby finger. I just sat back and allowed it to happen. I found him fascinating. Everything we spoke of seemed to resonate with me which was so weird I couldn’t eat any of the meat which was the feature of the evening. That’s another story. Large haunches of meat roasting over a fire. A meat spectacle!

Any way I had no idea how to respond at the end of the evening when he gave me his card and asked me to contact him. I think I made a joke but to tell the truth I have no idea what I said. I felt like I was 14. The next morning I ran into him again as I was hanging out with an old friend of his. We had lunch together and there it was again. That sense of knowing all about someone and wanting to know more. I really wanted to hold his hand. 24 hours later I sit at home after a three hour drive and have no idea what to think.

Do I email Him? Will he email me? The whole thing is so wonderfully silly but also painful and frightening. Most people would say just enjoy it and have fun but I can’t do that. I find it incredibly stressful and I feel tired and somewhat hopeless. Just after I meet this wonderful creature who seems very interested in me and what do I do? Want to run away and hide or have him immediately come over here and live with me for the rest of my life. This is insanity. I can’t do this dance which is why I made that commitment to myself about finding a lifetime companion but I have no idea how I am going to find one if I can’t stand the initial heat?

So what is my point here? I guess my point is that we are presented opportunities in life that require attention and taking a risk and though I am longing for a partner of my heart, I find the feelings so intense I am often unable to comprehend them.

Stay tuned for the next part of this story.