the nest

the nest

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

stop. breathe. love.

I keep trying to sit down to write and every time I'm distracted by my own inner thought process.  So much to think about, to write about, to talk about.  Where to start?  I want to ponder the recent death of a kind, beloved young woman who I was privileged to have met at Camp Calumet.  She is added to the deaths a few weeks earlier of two other women - also too young.  Death surrounds us lately.  4,000 and counting souls in Nepal.  Freddie Gray in Baltimore.  Death leads us to mourn, to cry, to get angry, to hate.
These are the times when I find myself angry with God at the same time I pray for understanding and solace.  How could these souls be taken from the world so soon?  We need them here!  This is when I have to believe there is something waiting for us after death.  I can't accept the idea that we die into nothingness.
Death spurs us to action - in Nepal, there are stories of so many survivors helping each other.  I just read a story about a group of girls cooking for and feeding hundreds of survivors.  Donations from around the world will pour in and volunteers will stream across the borders to help.  Tragedy and death can bring out the best in all of us.
Death can also bring out the worst.  I don't live in Baltimore, I am not black and I am not poor.  I will never truly understand the conditions that have led to increasing violence each time another young black man is killed by police.  The violence and rioting just make things worse, but law enforcement has to accept their role in tipping the balance and take responsibility for their part of the equation.  The vicious cycle of suspicion, harassment, aggression, violence is replaying over and over again.  I know there are good police - I believe more good police than bad.  But I also know there are good black men - more good than bad.
The news and social media have a responsibility to share information, but when they share it in a skewed way, spending way more time on the violence and hate than they do on the peaceful protests, the survivors feeding others, we foolishly accept that THAT is the world.  There are posts going around disparaging the violence and the riots.  I agree they are terrible, but when we deny the conditions that have led to this point we should be ashamed of ourselves.  We live in our privileged bubbles and have NO IDEA what has led to this.  It's way more than the death of one young man.
In my lifetime I would have hoped we would have moved beyond the violence and protest when I was born in 1968, to a place where what color you are, what gender you are, what religion you are, wouldn't be an issue.  But we are afraid.  We are afraid of anyone who is different than us.

This is when I have to believe in an afterlife and I have to believe in the words of Jesus Christ.  Even when I don't believe in God, I still believe that what is most important, and in fact, the only thing that will save us from ourselves is to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
We have to look for the sameness in each other - we all bleed red.  we all need food and water.  I don't accept that because someone LOOKS or ACTS or BELIEVES differently than I do that they are less than I am.  They are just different.
We have to stop looking for the worst in others and instead look for and expect the best.  Make eye contact. Smile. Be polite. Share. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Get off your privileged high horse and LOVE.  If you say you are a Christian or a Jew or  Muslim or a Buddhist or whatever. If you are male, female, trans, gay, whatever.  If you are white, black, yellow, red or purple!  Stop living your life in fear of different and instead be curious.  Learn, grow and LOVE.  These are lessons we teach little children in songs - "Jesus loves the little children, ALL the children of the world".  Children learn what they see though and if they SEE us hate and disparage and fear, that is what they will learn.

We will all die someday.  It's what happens.  I believe that when we do, there something else for us.  It's what is left behind that I worry about.  Our time is short.  Quit spending it hating and fearing and instead LOVE.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

stream of consciousness...

I've had so much in my head since I last wrote and I've been so reluctant to put it in "writing."  Good, bad, annoying, surprising, all of the above...  Sometimes I think if I could get into a routine of writing a little bit everyday that would be a good idea.  That would be great if I did well with routine!  I do know that some things are just better when they are scheduled and regular.  Writing is something that I just have to let burst out. My lack of follow through with routines has sometimes been a liability when it comes to raising kids.  We went through more "systems", tried more strategies etc.... They ALL worked..... When I actually followed through.
Right now I'm trying to set more routines for myself- since doing the Design Your Day coaching over the winter, I can see which ones are really useful to me.  The last month or so though I've been testing... Not doing the things I know are helpful.  Guess what?  I'm not working efficiently, I'm not sleeping well, and I'm crabby!
What I've maintained has been hot water and lemon in the am, and getting to the gym.  Until now.  No worries on the hot water and lemon, but I haven't been to the gym since Monday.  My knee is causing trouble and so I thought I should rest it.  What that means though is my routine is interrupted and I'm terrified that getting back into it will be tough.  It stuns me how such a small interruption to a routine can mess it all up.
I've been getting stronger, my clothes fit better, my energy was great and now I'm feeling old, achy, and sorry for myself.  WHICH IS RIDICULOUS!  So much of my headspace right now has been taken up by death.    I know right?  Where did THAT come from?
The older you get the more death touches you.  A few weeks ago, a lovely acquaintance passed away unexpectedly.  She was my age.  Within the same week, the wife of a friend passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was a brand new grandma.  This week, every time I go on facebook or into my email, I'm afraid that I will see the news that another friend who is fighting cancer (cancer SUCKS), has passed away.  No matter how sore or achy or crabby I am, someone else is fighting a much harder battle.
Thursday night I had a rehearsal for a concert I'm singing in this weekend.  I was sitting because my knee hurts, and was feeling a little petulant.  The words of one piece jumped up and slapped me-

"Why then should I be afraid? I shall die once again to rise an angel blest.  Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; the soul that rises with us, our life's Star, hath had elsewhere it's setting."

Powerful words for sure, but what really created the emotional impact was the music.  Without the music they are lovely for sure, and maybe that's enough for some people.  But the music shoots those words right into your soul.  It's like an infusion of new blood~ the melody, harmony, rhythm, dissonance coursing through your veins recharging your spirit.
Last night we rehearsed again and a different piece moved me ~ all the works we are singing are about death and life and resurrection and the SOUL.

Music Feeds Our Souls.

This is why I feel so passionately about the work I do with little ones and families.  To be fed by the language of music, to get that infusion of new blood, you have to know it ~ we have to be immersed in it from the beginning of time... The language of music is primal and powerful, but if we allow the brains of our little ones to develop without it, those pathways in the brain will get filled up with other things leaving no room for music.  It's so easy though.  Sing, dance, play, sing some more.  Sing with your friends. Sing with your family.  Make music and allow it to fill your soul and hold your memories.

Music is life.