*POST EDIT: For those following our mom passed away last night. I hope to write a post about her soon as she was the glue to the family for us and she was our biggest advocate, accepting friend, and nurturing mom. All our love mom. xo.*
Being present in ourselves is both brutal and beautiful. When grief grips presence feels impossible, and when joy abounds our essence can feel constrained. Beauty is not a pretty asymmetrical face, though to the eye that loves that face, it IS, but beauty is deeper. Beauty is a home coming. "The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere - in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion, and in ourselves. No one would desire not to be beautiful. When we experience the beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming...The human gaze is not the closed, fixed view of a camera but it is creative and constructive. Both the gaze that sees and the object that is seen construct themselves simultaneously in the one act of vision. So much depends on how we see things. More often than not the style of gaze determines what we see. There are many things near us that we never notice simply because of the way we see. The way we look at things has a huge influence on what becomes visible for us. If a house has been closed up for a long time, a film of dust settles on the windows. Decayed residue gradually manages to seal out the light. When we go into such a place, we smell the dankness of sour fetid air. The same thing can happen in the windows of the mind."- John O Donohue.
No one else has access to the world you carry around within yourself; you are its custodian and entrance. No one else can see the world the way you see it. No one else can feel your life the way you feel it. Thus it is impossible to ever compare two people because each stands on such different ground. When you compare yourself to others, you are inviting envy into your consciousness; it can be a dangerous and destructive guest.” (John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
"We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrender. Each morning, we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night, we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more. " -John O'Donohue. In this tangible life, there is both darkness in light. Both require surrender and awakening. An easier example of this analogy would be in friendship. "Every friendship travels at sometime through the black valley of despair. This tests every aspect of your affection. You lose the attraction and the magic. Your sense of each other darkens and your presence is sore. If you can come through this time, it can purify with your love, and falsity and need will fall away. It will bring you onto new ground where affection can grow again.” I have had friends whom I thought I would never speak to again. Each of us took turns in darkness...we lost the magic collectively and individually. I'm not talking about the turning of time when friends need to take separate paths. My cousins are friends and sisters for life...yet we have had moments when our affection was tested. Luckily, our love was purified after time healed...and honouring the darkness was part of this journey. The magic grew from beauty and life. There is hope even in this.
YET, if you are reading this and not ready to embrace the beauty and magic, and the brutal is just so engulfing - know this (parenthesis mine):
"You are not obligated to do everything a healthy person does (in mind, emotion, or in body- or a happy person.) You are NOT obligated to be an inspiration. You are not obligated to hide your illness (or grief) in order to make people comfortable. You are allowed to know your limits. You are allowed to have bad days. You are allowed to stay in bed if you can't get up to do anything but go to the bathroom. It is not our fault if other people leave you because of your illness (or grief.) It is not your fault that you are sick (or sad.) You don't have to apologize for something that is out of your control."- Unknown quote
Wishing you wisdom, solitude and beautiful moments during your darkest hours. xo.
**All quotes of John O Donohue taken from my two favourite books of his "Anam Cara" (which we named our home after) and "Beauty the Invisible Embrace". Links to the books on my library page.
Song: Cry Ophelia- Adam Cohen. (A friend gave this on a mix tape in high school and the first time I heard it the lyrics wound their way into my melancholic teenage soul.)
Desperado - Eagles. ( Sorry for the weird image...The Eagles knew how to write a tune. Their songs capture my mind with their engagement of imagery, wisdom, and soul. It's a song that reminds me about perspective...that my time is still here and it's not too late until it is.)
Lost- Michael Buble. (I first heard this song after I had my miscarriage. I listened to it over and over again. The tears would always slip when Michael would croon "Baby you're not lost.")