Tuesday, July 1, 2014

resting + healing + divine beauty


“Stopping, calming, and resting are preconditions for healing. When animals in the forest are wounded they find a place to lie down and rest completely for many days… They just rest and get the healing they need.”
                                                                 ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“God fills all the moments of our lives with wisdom and inspires us to praise all the beauty we experience every day. Darkness is surely present in the world, but poets and mystics challenge us to see the divine beauty present even in that darkness. They also challenge us to be persons of light, witnessing to God's grandeur in a world that often is blind to its ever present beauty… 
We need to keep our eyes on the ever present beauty of God and discover or unveil the luminous presence of the One who is Beauty. We are made for God and our hearts will not rest until they rest in God.”
                                                                ~Edward O'Donnell

The color named "ocean soul"

It’s been seven weeks since my father died. I keep waiting for some great insight, or a major breakdown, to get me to the next phase of grieving. But for now, I’m merely trying to find some rhythm to my new life… and wondering when I’ll stop counting by weeks, as you do with the birth of a baby.

So far, my instinctive desire to express what remains inexpressible within me has taken on some interesting and occasionally unusual directions.

One week, I found myself yearning for color – bold, confident colors that leave a definite, unquestionable impression. So I painted our entryway a deep orange. Not the whole thing, but one prominent accent wall. And I painted the door to our shed and our backyard swing a blue color named “ocean soul.”

Another week I tried reading a book of essays by Nora Ephron that by any account most/all women would find funny. Yet I promptly learned that although I could see the humor in the writing—and would very likely find it hilarious at any other point in my life, I simply wasn’t laughing.  It’s that feeling I have watching a TV sitcom that has a loud track of recorded laughs--and I don’t get the joke.

Most recently, I have found myself re-watching from its beginning the television series “Parenthood,” featuring an aging married couple with four adult “kids” and their families. It’s familiar. It’s real. And it’s heartening, in all the right ways.

I don’t feel especially sentimental. Yet, like the vivid dreams I’ve been having, I am aware that I have strong emotions swirling inside me. I simply don’t know how they will come out, not yet.

But, as usual, my body is doing its best to provide me with a reliable gauge for how I’m doing and what I need. I’ve had several days where all I want to do is sleep... long and hard. And I’ve had many days where I just have to slow down, focus on one thing before me, and deliberately tell myself that it is enough.  I am enough.

For now…this is my rhythm. I continue to watch my family show. I let the paintbrush be a comfort tool. I keep daily tabs on my mom. I let my amazing grandchildren make me smile. And I show up for prayer and tell God simply, “here I am.”


I am enough, as I am. Here I am.