Sunday, 28 August 2011

love is in the air

This is a lovely little song that some old roommates and I sang at a wedding for a former roommate of ours this past week-end. We changed the words in the chorus to:

"You, two and the candles will be all that you need. Your faces bathed in the firelight will be all you want to see. And he'll still sing you a song, to last the whole night long. You, two and the candles..."

I've been to a lot of weddings this year, three this summer. Different couples, different dynamics, different reasons why they love who they love. I've loved witnessing these declarations of love, hope and commitment. With each heartfelt kiss at the end of the ceremony, it seems as though there's no way their beautiful love won't last forever.
Enter real life + time.
It seems to be getting tougher and tougher for people to stay together, stay committed, and stay fighting in the trenches of life together. I don't know why some make it and some don't. It's been nice though to have been reminded this summer of what a blessing it is to be married, to have someone by your side, and to have the opportunity to create a little piece of heaven on earth with your partner. Commited love can create so much beauty and happiness in our lives. So if you're reading this, go give your hubby(or wifey) some love, perhaps you could light some candles as well.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

This might need to be my new mantra

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I'm about to embark on something tremendously difficult for me. My guts kind of shiver when I think about what lies ahead. And I know that my light will tend towards dying a little bit as I make my way through this. I don't know if I have the energy to rage but Dylan Thomas seems so very sure that I ought to - I must say, I'm tempted to try. I'm not dying, not even close to it. But sometimes, life's waves just tire you out, y'know?

Friday, 12 August 2011

To thine own self be true

Sometimes "positive thinking" drives me NUTS!

Notes written on walls of statements you don't truly believe but recite each day in hopes that you can convince yourself to ignore your true feelings. "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me."

What if people don't like you? Seriously, what if there was something about you that repelled others. Is it really better to try to convince yourself otherwise and be "positive" than to take a serious honest inventory of yourself and figure out why you are repelling people and then work on fixing the problem.

Same with people who aren't happy with a situation in their lives but pretend that they are happy with it. Like in the past four years of staying home with my boys I wish I could say that I've loved every minute of it - but I haven't. And I think those moments when I just leveled with myself and opened myself up to how I was really feeling - when I let myself admit "I hate this." that's when I was able to deal with my unhappiness. When you don't allow yourself to say "I hate this" then you also make no room for "I hate this, and am having a hard time with.......what can I do to make this work." Then solutions start presenting themselves and when you pray, you speak honestly with God about what you need - and because God LOVES honesty, miracles can happen and genuine happiness and gratitude can replace the misery.

I guess what I think is: if it smells like bull*$#% - don't buy it
because I think the truth is the only way to true happiness.

The truth of it all is that life constantly offers us reason for happiness, gratitude - a song in our hearts, and if we follow the truth we'll hear that music playing...eventually. It may take a little longer going the truth route rather than the lying to yourself route but I think the end result will be satisfyingly worth it.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

sleeping is great until you wake up and realize you've missed the carnival

The following is an excerpt from a post on the blog "state of friss"
She doesn't write as often as I'd like, but maybe if she did, I wouldn't like what she wrote as much as I do.

"my challenge today is how to say what i mean, and to be brief.

that's one of the great challenges of poetry of course, and you all know how i like to record those moments when a poem intersects my real life perfectly. sometimes those moments are truly, rarely, devastatingly accurate. for just a bit you can forget to breathe and your whole body says, gah, that's it!

the German poet, Ernst Stadler died in 1914 on the Western Front, killed by a British shell. the poem following poem, "The Saying" is a translation {hence, an imitation} by Stephen Berg of Stadler's original poem, which ends with the line, "Mensch, werde wesentlich!" ("Man, become substantial!").

The Saying

In an old book
I stumbled across a saying.
It was like a stranger
punching me in the face,

it won't stop
gnawing at me.
When I walk around at night,
looking for a beautiful girl,

when a lie or a description
of life or somebody's fake
way of being with people
occurs instead of reality,

when I betray myself with
an easy explanation
as if what's dark is clear,
as if life doesn't have thousands

of locked, burning gates,
when I use words without really
having known their strict openness
and put my hands around things

that don't excite me,
when a dream hides my face with soft hands
and the day avoids me,
cut off from the world,

cut off from who I am deeply,
I freeze where I am
and see hanging in the air in front of me

:: :: ::

and anyway, who out there is fully awake? who is living out every second, confronting fear and earnestly seeking understanding? i think there are such people. but not me. i think i am mostly half asleep."

Friday, 5 August 2011

Money does buy happiness...and maybe sometimes misery too.

When I was young - I think I was in fifth grade - I remember a teacher telling the class "money does not buy happiness." I shot up my hand and said something like "Then why do I feel happy when I have money?" The teacher firmly maintained her position and after a few minutes of arguing with me...gave up, and moved on. I wasn't convinced. I'm still not. Extreme povery can be soul destroying:

watching your children die of starvation = misery.
buying your children food so they don't die of starvation = joy.

It's pretty hard to argue that having enough money to cover your basic necessities buys a lot of happiness. The saying "money isn't everything" - I have no problem with that one. I think money buys happiness up to a point and then, I don't know...does it buy a little bit of misery? Does too much money take away from the satisfaction of life the way eating too much food does. I don't know, I've never really had too much money (except when I was teaching in Taiwan and had so much money I was taking taxis everywhere I went...perhaps I should have been walking...perhaps my extra money did buy me some misery)

Jord and I watched a documentary "Lucky" the other night which followed the lives of several lottery winners. Pretty interesting to watch how money changed all of their lives.