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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Grace: A Conversation With The Voice

     Is there space between love and hate?

     "There is but a breath between them."

     How so?

     "To love one must know the difference."

     But hatred consumes and then there is no love.

     "It is the same with love."

     How can there be hatred when humans have such a capacity for love?

     "Humans also have pain.  Hatred is a product of pain."

     Why?  Why do we have pain?

     "Pain is instrumental in the human experience."

     "That's stupid"

     "That's life."

     What are we supposed to do with that?

     "Look inward and find the space."

     Between love and hate?

     "Yes.  You're spirit resides there."


     "With Grace."

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Boomerang of Ripples

     This is a post from two years ago. It is a follow up to a piece I wrote recently published on elephant journal, The Bike Man Cometh. Because the news of the day/week/month/year/infinity is about the hideous events that can occur in everyday living, I decided to re-post. 

     Though my biking snafu was uncomfortable for the short time it lasted, it is in no way a comparison to the the awful shootings and deaths that have been occurring. What I learned that sweltering day is something that helps me cope with events that I have or will have no understanding of the whys/hows or what the fucks? 

     The day begins simply enough, it is one part of an island vacation after all. A ride into town, followed by a bike tune up for the Purple Queen. The wheels have a few miles under the treads and Tom the Bike Man on Madeline Island is home base. Three years ago we had a long discussion over her ownership, since I was first sight madly in love and he the reluctant seller of the unique cycle. It is an aged Trek and had experienced several previous owners who moved onto other bikes after returning the purple Queen. Tom had been adamant she was not my bike when I asked the price. He said the frame was too big, while I told him it fit perfectly His final throw down had been that this set of wheels needed to be ridden and often. This he tossed with a narrowed look at my over-sized body which may have given the impression i bought exercise equipment and looked at it from the couch. In the end I handed over a check and we shook hands after I swore three times the bike wouldn't rust alone in the garage.
     Today I sweat a little more than the heat of the day requires, fretting that the miles I'd ridden the past 36 months won't pass muster. There is probably a more than good chance the Bike Man knows a thing a tow about wear and tear. It is an even better bet he'd snatch the Purple queen back if she'd been side lined while I snoozed. I watch him anxiously as he fondles her lines and twirls the wheels.

     “Well, I can see she’s been ridden.”

He cocks one vivid blue eye in my direction,. I wait until he finishes.

     “And by the looks of it, she’s gotten quite a few miles since I last saw the two of you.”

Tom grins and I sigh. His words roll over me like warm syrup. This man had unknowingly helped with my healing and I want him to feel that his motto has been sustained.

     “I want to change people’s lives one bike at a time.”

     The Purple Queen needs new tires, plus a couple of other items, further proof of my biking integrity. I ride off into the early afternoon when the tune up is complete. Seven miles up the road and 5 miles from the water front rental, the back tire blows. Having just experienced a blessed moment of synchronicity I figure a car full of Deb worshipers will show up soon to give me a lift and a cookie. Walking alongside the treasured but wounded two-wheeler, I don't lose hope of rescue for several miles. I send a mental SOS to my daughter who is waiting for me to join her on the dock. We have a great ESP relationship, which is hugely beneficial for me when she's doing what 20 year old's do and hugely beneficial for her when she's wondering if I know of KNOW what she's up to. My thoughts wander around our relationship, the one we're creating on this trip. We'd bonded in the peaceful warm air, recalling the kinship of our first meeting at her birth.

    I wonder if she’ll heed the SOS.

     Another couple of miles, my feet begin to ache, a black fly swoops in for thirsty nips and the water bottle inches down to zero.

      Ugh. What the fuck.

I spend hot minutes trying to Zen myself so that I can share the achievement with a meditation group I’m running. The outcome is dismal which means the class will instead be told how difficult it is to be mindful when life sucks. I zap another rescue alert for the daughter who has got to be thinking I’m chatting up Tom or riding extra miles, wasting the sunshine for both of us.

     Alright Universe, what’s up?


Difficult situations tend to pass quickly if I accept what IS.

     Okay I get it, I’m walking five miles home. I’m still on vacation. I won’t die of exposure.

Another half mile trudging along as cars filled with happy humans whip past.


A few days before, my daughter observed that I tend to look for support or protection from outside myself. She was referring to a talisman necklace I wear and frequent shout outs to Gurus. If the young woman is right, technically I can magnetize myself with my jewelry, dragging a car to a stop. This strategy entertains me the next long mile. My mind drifts to our ESP connection, wondering if it is being ignored. The Wise One (God or other higher power belief it references for you), finally responds.

     “She senses you.”

      There you are, where the heck have you been?

      “You don’t always get to know why things happen.”

       Wow. Really? That's all you've got?

    “Events happen which have nothing to do with or about you.”

     Um, I’m sweating my balls off and a fucking dinosaur fly is munching my back to pieces. How is this not about ME?

     “It IS and it isn't.”

The All Knowing leaves for more enlightening endeavors, while I continue plodding toward the beach house. Around two more bends I sight the sign for our rental on the horizon. Glassy eyed and dehydrated the road swims in a possible mirage, until unmistakably I see that our car heads in my direction.

     “Holy shit Mom, what happened?”

The beautiful girl stares at me with concern and a wee bit of horror. I must look parched and lobstered.

     “The bike blew a tire back near the state park. I tried to send you a spidey SOS.”

She looks sheepish for an instant.

     “Oh my God I totally got that, but I figured you hung out with Tom or added more miles onto your route. When you hit two hours, I gave into the feeling to come look for you.”

In sync we thought the truth.

     Shit...but cool.

Later, after the Purple Queen heads to the mainland for more extensive repairs, I float on an air mattress in the chilly lake. The sun bakes my fly-bitten back, while my fatigued feet ice in Lake Superior. The water undulates toward shore in continuous half-moon waves. Each carries dozens of evenly dispersed ripples, as though simultaneously hundreds of pebbles have been tossed, creating thousands of possibilities. 

~May we be aware in each moment, even during tragic or difficult events. May we experience all the emotions that arrive. May we understand that there may be NO UNDERSTANDING of why, some things are simply beyond our understanding. Then with that knowledge may we create great change.~