Gnarled

Photo by Noëlle — At Garden of the Gods

I stare at its gnarled and boney presence. Ripped up by its roots, bent away from it’s natural form and twisted into something barely recognizable as tree in the psyche.

Many still have leaves green and thriving at their tips. Life tenaciously holding on whilst facing winds so brutal nothing holds shape against them. It takes years of wind and water and baking sun to create such beauty. I look at the image closely, pondering the story that lies in every turned branch. Graceful, elegant are words that arise, even as the limbs seem tortured in their present form.

Photo by Noëlle— At Garden of the Gods

I look upon the hands that hold the image between them. I feel a shift of feeling here. Root-like veins cross the knuckles, age spots and deep creases over crepe like skin cover the bone structure. My fingers rise to touch the wrinkles at my eyes and mouth. Many years of wind, water and sun, metaphorically and literally, have weathered this form, too. Why do I, and so many others, not see the same beauty here. I see my reflection in the smart tablet screen. Do I see and experience the same grace and elegance as that moment on the trail?

Photo by Noëlle— Hand[/caption]

Photos by Noëlle— Hand

I look back at the images. Remember the feeling of magic and delight as I stepped into their presence along the red stone path. Felt the good fortune to see them with my eyes first, and then now, enjoying them again in a photograph. No wondering, just instantaneous recognition of something beautiful before me.

Photo by Noëlle— Garden of the Gods

Can I translate that to my own body now? Can I step into the presence of my aging process that looks back at me in the mirror and see how gnarled, bent, stretched, twisted life has made me and delight in the sudden discovery. Know it is beauty, not decay. See it as persistent life, thriving against all odds, rather than life slowly destroyed by time? Feel the grace of me, as instantaneously, as upon the trail?

The tree spoke of no sorrow or loss, as I stood before it. I know this. My other senses, those beyond my five standard issue senses — tell me I’d feel their suffering if they felt pain in their change and loss. Something in me knows this to be a deep truth. They live in the world, as it is and become what each moment brings to them. Bending to what is, rather than fighting against it. In this way, I see now that the grace and elegance I experience looking upon them in their gnarled form, is as much from their bending with the present moment, than just mere form.

Phot by Noëlle— Garden of the Gods

I can feel the world. I can feel it’s pulse and it’s movements. I can sense it’s shifts and it’s tides. I am more kin to the natural world, than I realize. Like so many, I am often lulled into a detached sleep from the natural evolution of all things by canned air, computer screens, shoe soles and walls.

Photo by Noëlle— Garden of the. Gods

I wish to return to this level of awareness. To be present to the weathering my path offers me. And in that presence, experience the beauty of my own changes — bent, twisted, bleached of all that was me — and know this as grace. I want to remember the wisdom that is inside of me, that is like the trees. Knows there is only what is here now and to bend to it. Allow it to shape me and alter my structure. Allow time and space to bring me into a new form that may have no appearance of it’s former self, yet is something that has become fresh and beautiful. Something so alive and tenacious that even faced with the elements of my own time on this Earth, I grow leaves of love, light and hope at the edges of all that I am.

If you enjoyed this piece, I’d be honored if you checked out my larger body of writing in my book “Into Your Meditation” at the link below or on the upper right hand corner of this blog site.

Kaleidoscope: A Divine View of Ourselves

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Image from Devianart.com

Today, I send into your meditation a Kaleidoscope.

Imagine you have picked up a beautiful kaleidoscope off the shelf in a lovely, out of the way shop you stumble upon, down an unexpected alley. The shop is full of all sorts of curiosities and beautiful trinkets, games and pieces of art. You have been wondering the shop for a few minutes, enjoying touching and admiring many things when you come upon the kaleidoscope.

There’s something of the unexpected in a kaleidoscope. You never know what patterns and beauty you will see within. Thus, you follow your impulse and pick it up. You are surprised at how substantial it feels in your hand. Clearly very well made of a porcelain-like material, with these intricate designs and writing that appear similar to Sumatran script down its sides. The rims are made of gold and you find yourself even more entranced than a moment ago.

You place the kaleidoscope to your eye and peer in. As with all kaleidoscopes the objects that create the patterns within are made of rich colored glass, but there are also beads of gold and silver that seem to refract light into the glass. When you turn and face the sunlight streaming through the shop windows the colors explode in every direction, bringing to life the most amazing patterns. Each turn of the scope gives ever greater delight. It’s as if you can feel the colored patterns seeping into your body through your eyes. Whatever the price, you decide you must have it. You can’t help feeling there is something truly magical about this kaleidoscope and an immense good fortune for having found your way to this shop. You want to look into it again and again.

And there is, of course, something magical about it. This kaleidoscope is your human life and the viewer is your spirit gazing through it.

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Image from Devianart.com

Your life was chosen from a myriad of options in the divine shop of human existence. Your life was an intentional decision and there was such delight and sense of wonder and eagerness to see what patterns this life you are living would create. Feel the power in that. There were an infinite number of choices, and your spirit chose your life to experience itself through. Not random, not accidental and not the last trinket on the shelf some unlucky spirit got stuck with. No one is a lump of coal in some spirit’s Christmas stocking. Everything about your life was a magical moment of conscious decision and creation, entered into with pure joy and awe.

Pay close attention now and let us see something even more powerful and unique about this kaleidoscope. It’s size is of your design. The number of colors within it, your choice. The number of times it’s turned and the pattern allowed to change, your decision. Each of us are sovereign beings with complete freewill. The limitations we experience are of our own choosing. The level of diversity, depth, color, range, complexity of our nature is something we build and create daily.

It’s important to understand there are no wrong choices. No matter what we think of the events of our life or the changes we’re experiencing our highest self is always delighted with the patterns of our nature. It peers into us only with the eyes of love and wonder, and as such it can see nothing else. It does not see the person you harmed or the person who harmed you the way you see them. It does not interpret your losses or successes or those of your enemy the way you interpret them. It does not see the unexpected, as unexpected, or the confusing as confusing. It sees into your life with immense clarity and vision that envelopes all of who you are and all of whom and what everything else is, simultaneously. It sees the beauty and grace in all things.

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Image from Devianart.com

There is never disappointment in our beingness or even a hair’s breath of regret in the choice to live through us. All those feelings of discord are only our level of disengagement with that love offered freely and without restraint or limitation.

Your higher self is an infinite being. It can live an entire lifetime gazing enthralled at one particular pattern that never changes, reveling in the patterns beauty. It can spend ten thousand lifetimes, turning the scope again and again, seeing millions of configurations if it so chooses. Nothing is ever lost to it. Nothing is squandered, diminished or thought less of for being the pattern it is. It knows only delight, excitement, wonder at what it sees in the pattern it is witnessing now, for no matter how far down a hole we may think we are, it knows completely our potential to climb out. It waits with delicious anticipation for us to take our next step toward love, in each and every moment. It will wait a minute, it will wait ten thousand lifetimes with the same anticipation. It’s infinite. Only love and potentiality matter to it, not time.

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Image from goosart.com

This life you are living is a kaleidoscope. You are choosing the limitations of the tube, the color of the glass, the aperture of the spy hole… all of it. Even more fascinating, at no time, does your spirit rail against the limitation of the tube, either. For the tubes limitations are what allow the formations of patterns. They are chosen limits, until one decides to change the limits for something smaller or broader, depending on what serves us. Spirit can’t look into vastness and experience an individuality. It must confine itself for a time in a human life that has distinct edges, created by our beliefs and perceptions. We may decide to change a belief and expand our point of view or our way of being, but we chose to be inside this tube for a time. And in that choice we are playing with the limitations we set to ourselves to build our kaleidoscope. We wanted something we could look through and that decision gave us this very unique and specific life.

We have a fixed sense of who we are, our personalities in particular, largely because we’ve created – through our beliefs – the limitations we live within. It is an illusion though to see them as fixed. We can make them so, if that serves us, but if the confines we’ve found ourselves living in have become constricted, boring, dull, diminished, dark, negative, self-limiting, imprisoning, than truly we need but turn the glass tube. Make a decision to change. Make a decision to imagine ourselves as something new, and the tube begins to turn. The colored glass and metallic balls begin to tumble and who we are shifts into a new pattern.

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Image from Pinterest.com

Do not let your old stories of who you are define who you can be. Disengage from other’s points of view of who they think you are, and ask yourself if that is who you wish to be? Allow yourself to imagine that any configuration of you, that no longer serves you can be let go, freed up, re-designed into something else. As Einstein said, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” You are pure energy, in a constant state of flux and evolution. Know the limitlessness of that!

As you sit today, see if you can feel the porcelain tube with it’s magical script etched down its sides turning just a little and then allow yourself to open to whatever comes next.

If you enjoyed this piece, I would be honored if you checked out my book, either at the Amazon link below or the Lulu link at the upper right hand. Many blessings to you…

Healing Comes with Awareness

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Ohsu.com


First, this from the Enneagram Institute’s daily quotes:

Wisdom teaching about waking up: “Awareness is vitally important in the work of transformation because the habits of our personality let go most completely when we see them as they are occurring.”

I’m sitting in a meeting and someone I don’t care for much, speaks up. No surprise, I don’t like their idea. A very non-spiritual, unenlightened or even kind thought crosses my mind. I catch it almost as quickly. I’m immediately disappointed in myself. I note that the thought comes with a feeling of tension in my belly and irritation. I breath to relax and notice my left toes are curled up in my shoe. I release them. Another breath, but my chest is tight. My brain is wanting to give a rebuttal to my colleague. History has taught me the rebuttal will fuel more than I care for. I hold my tongue, but feel the effort causes my jaw to tighten. I breathe again, and relax my face and shoulders.

I now notice my thoughts are quickly winding into a story. I ask myself, “Why are you telling yourself this story now?” The answer back is “I’m still irritated and I’m right.” Since I’m not giving that impulse to rebut my colleague’s statements sway, my brain is unleashing the tension in some sordid tale where I, of course, am more brilliant, kinder, innovative than my counterpart in the meeting. I breathe again. I feel the boat that sails on the sea of peace within me listing a good bit. I feel my deep desire to be right, to have greater influence over the meeting battling inwardly with the part of me deeply rooted in peace, that wants to let go of this whole mental and emotional affair I’ve got going.

My mind suddenly throws up a picture of an old circus ride from my youth. The Gravitron which spun you round and round with centrifugal force. I feel like I’m watching myself on one side of the ride and feeling myself on the opposing side, simultaneously.

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Soft.net

I check in, my toes are curled up again. I unravel them, take another breath, and loosen my tongue that I’ve cemented to the roof of my mouth, apparently, to not speak up. I’m still irritated, but the self-inquiry has infused curiosity in there, too. I feel a sense of command over my reactiveness arriving, that’s comforting somehow.

I breathe again and relax my butt cheeks, loosen my hands in my lap, undo the tension that’s grown behind my eyes. The activity has taken me off my colleague. The meeting has moved on. No decisions were made. I feel relief. I relax. I note the pettiness of my thoughts, the need to grab control over an outcome I desire, the tension that built, the emotional ride I took myself on all aloft inside of me. I breathe again, letting it all go with a growing commitment.

I query myself on what is at the heart of this? Why does this person’s character disturb me so or their ideas?

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Espritsciencemetaphysiques.com


The answers arrive like parade floats passing across my mind. I’m competitive: a familiar idea and I feel the yucky feeling of catching that in me, yet again. They have a condescending tone when they speak to me. I feel that even yuckier twinge of unworthiness or ‘less than’ vibe roll through. If I’m wholly honest, I might have to admit they are smarter than me. Again, competitive, and an idea I’m not willing to concede quite yet. An amused smile crosses my lips as I catch my own arrogance. I feel the outcome on the issue is outside my control, and feel a helplessness there. I dig down deeper and sense a boredom in the meeting and have the very unpleasant realization, that some of this internal drama was simply to give my mind something to engage. That might be the most unflattering notion to me of all of them. Drama as a kind of mental amusement. My desire to rebut likely had a need for attention, too. Huh… some self-esteem issues there and I’m finding the ‘drama as antidote for boredom’ returning to my mind, as if it has bells on its feet.

I move from looking inward to looking outward. I see the politics of the issue that are affecting my colleague and me. I sense the uncomfortable temperature of the room and the length of time I’ve been in the meeting and how all of those, too, are affecting what is happening to me here.

I check in. My toes are curled up in both shoes now, my shoulders have risen up, my breathing is shallower, stomach tight, the irritation – now focused on myself – has grown. I don’t care for much of this, but also see the value in witnessing these things in myself. I don’t try to change what I’m seeing. I breathe and let myself see them as I detach from them. I feel my meditation practice in full swing. I am a witness to my personality’s various machinations. They are there, noted honestly, but I focus on offering myself compassion. I breathe into it. Unravel everything one more time, only this time, I keep going for several minutes. I focus on a point just outside the window. I let the noise of the meeting pass over me, as clouds traveling the breadth of the sky. I stay this way until I feel myself return to a monk sitting quietly in the conference room chair.

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In5d.com


Now, I am ready to practice some ho’oponopono with my colleague. The Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness, “I love you, please forgive me, I’m sorry, thank you”. By the time I begin, I see the gifts I’ve been given of insight into my personality’s weird little dynamics. I’ve had the chance to disengage the machine and return myself to center. The boat floating inwardly on my sea of peace is no longer listing.

When I begin the Hawaiian prayer I mean every word. My colleague has not changed at all, and I may never be close friends with them, but the part of me that was attaching who I am, to who they are, has been unhooked. As such, I can see them more clearly. They, like me, have the same little shit show going on inside their personality. That single insight softens my heart tremendously. A gift to me of awareness. I’ve been shown something and given the chance to practice a new pathway, charter a new course. I don’t ask myself for perfection. I might have to repeat this little scene at some other point today, tomorrow or next week. This is the path. I am not the same at the end of the meeting, as I was at the beginning. As the quote indicates I am, by means of my awareness, transformed.

Day in, day out, this is the road we travel. Thousands of years meditators have been walking this path. I am comforted to know I am in good company.

If you liked this piece, consider checking out my book either at the link below to Amazong or the link above to Lulu.com publishing. Thank you

Two Griffins

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From phys.org

Today, I send into your meditation The Griffins. A few nights ago I dreamt of two golden griffins. The dream had a number of twists and turns, but at the end I found myself on a dirt road, traveling through a valley toward a mountain ridge, on the back of a gentle and warm yak. Not a bull, a yak. It seemed to be late summer, early fall as it is now in the Northern Hemisphere. The vale was golden, the sky a twilight blue. The road wove into a wood as it began to ascend into the mountains. I remember thinking of the old saying, “The oxen is slow, but the Earth is patient”. I felt no sense of hurry and a feeling of contentment pervaded my attitude.

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From Deviantart.com

As I rose up the side of the mountain I came upon two golden griffins (body of a lion, head of an eagle, often with talons for hands and paws for feet). They were sitting at a small cafe table, in the middle of this wood, enjoying cups of tea from fine bone china, outside a small cave opening. I couldn’t imagine my good fortune, stumbling onto this Wonderland-esque scene and turned the yak off the road toward their table.

The dream changed quickly and I found myself entering their small cave instead. The inside of the cave was much larger than the outside betrayed. Inside were many children, seemingly impoverished by their clothing, but all beside themselves with joy. At first they asked me to help them with their financial circumstances and I eagerly sat down to help. In no time, however, I found myself on the floor with them, laughing and playing peek a boo, while they climbed all over me and the room in which we sat. The feeling was of being immersed in a sea of puppies. I remember all of these happy faces with brown and blue eyes, smiles – some of them missing front teeth, and all of them full of energy. We played for I don’t know how long, but sometime later, I awoke.

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From woari.deviantart.com

First let us visit the Griffins. This from Wikipedia, “…because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds by the Middle Ages the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. Since classical antiquity, Griffins were known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions”

Logically then, we would assume my golden griffins were guarding a particularly special treasure, yet no precious metals or diamonds did I find in this cave-dwelling. In fact, little tangible material at all. The children were in rags and some of their faces were smudged from having been playing in dirt or mud. The few furnishings were made of plain wood and of simple design. The space lacked any adornment or embellishment, yet the room was aglow with a golden light, as if filled with gold itself. All of what we consider prosperous or providing security was absent.

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From chickenzaur.deviantart.com

Thus, it would seem the treasure here was joy, playfulness, spontaneity, freedom to be oneself, foolish silliness, community, friendship, and laughter. The bounty was a warm lap to climb into, a hug, kisses on cheeks, races and hide and seek, followed by more let’s pretend. Every child looked well-nourished and even their hair shined in the luminous light even as their clothes were not. The concern for finances seemed almost a ruse to get me to sit on the floor with them to play in the real richness of the moment.

I have thought of the dream often since I had it. At first, the exotic nature of the griffins was my main focus, as you don’t dream of golden griffins sipping tea very often. Yet, over time, I found the children the clearer gift. The source of most of the magic. The message seemed clear. The treasure in life isn’t stuff. Its the joy, warmth and love we are capable of sharing and spreading like contagious giggles with one another. Playfulness is a wealth every man or woman possesses. Delight the food of gods, that nourishes beyond measure. This gift, not piles of precious jewels, were what the golden griffins were attracting me too, so sublimely as they sat daintily sipping tea. They weren’t guarding me out, but enticing me in. Once I’d turned toward them, my destination into the cave was immediate.

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Pinterest image

So I say in this very moment, do not let meditation be the only source of profound spiritual connection you give yourself this day. Find someone, anyone, to laugh with, to hug, to love deeply, to surprise and be yourself with, to step out of your routine and be completely spontaneous with. Laugh more than you complain today. Smile often at all whom you meet, there’s bounty in that simple gesture. If you are lonely, and find a short list of friends to turn to, then commit now to change. Even if to do so will force you out of your comfort zone, be inconvenient and make you risk seeming foolish. Do not impoverish yourself of the great richness this life has the potential to offer all of us, if we’ll stop worrying about what anyone else thinks and begin, even with small steps to follow our bliss. Lay down your financial woes, breaking their dominance on your mind. Invest in the present for the gifts that lay here for you, if you’ll just turn off those old roads you’ve traveled for so long.

If you enjoyed this piece, please consider checking out my book at the link listed below or the one listed at the top of this page. Thank you!

Flight of Love

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Rainy gate by Noelle


At the Delta gate watching travelers swirl all around me. Each with a life of stories about to lift off to another tale somewhere. I step in with them eagerly.

Wait staff greet me with a smile and deliver a delicious and nourishing breakfast. The manager’s hand warm as he shook mine. I feel his gratitude for someone’s awareness of his gate-side establishment. I imagine many pass this way, never looking twice.

Anonymous in a crowd.
The curse of our societies these days.

Security line a breeze, even as TSA searched my bag, tricked by four pounds of the best Block Island fudge heading to colleagues back home. The delight in a new story of fudge mistaken for C-4 explosives.

Rain pelts the runways and I am filled with an equal force of love passing through me. How fortunate to breathe in this next breath on a rainy Sunday morning, my own next tale unfolding before me on each step. It’s as if the world flows into me unabated and unrestrained.

Such small things to attend to, yet they lift me past my old mind. Lift me aloft on trade-winds that will take me to some new shore. There is a freshness in my mind I wish to deeply savor.

Energy moves down the vessels of each arm, my finger tips tingling. I look at my hands and they almost seem like someone else’s. What good can they do in this life they’ve yet to attempt? Who will I become if I unleash them on everything I touch? How much am I made of a magic so exquisite it floods from me touching ever soul I look upon? What if in this moment I am a force of love that floods this Delta gate, as the Mississippi floods the Louisisana delta?

To step into such love now, as I step onto this plane… Not later in meditation, but now, eyes open, fully wake, completely present, totally in love.

Traveling Monk Wind

Painting by Albert Bierstradt

Painting by Albert Bierstradt

Clouds hang thick and brooding above me, as I stand on the deck. The rain comes and goes at its own bidding, with thunder rolling across the rooftops with little punch. The sun sets over the hogbacks, barely visible between the heavy cloud cover and a thin stretch of blue that holds to the mountains as if it were snow. Lightning flashes and a spindly thread of electricity that whips outward toward the fading sun calls a passing goodnight.

It’s the air that has brought me to the railing, leaning out just a bit to catch it moving along the house. Over the past two years a love affair with wind has been brewing and percolating within me. I feel as if she comes to my house for visits. Sometimes a loud and rambunctious toddler, rattling my crib for attention, while at other times, so soft it’s as if she were a lover. Tonight she is the cloaked traveler asking for a night’s stay and a stable for her pony. There is something mysterious in the night air and a feeling of intensity and anticipation, all the while holding a gentleness as she moves by. I decide I shall call her the Traveling Monk Wind and turn my face more fully into her presence. I feel the air moving past the cells in my body pulling the skies electricity deep into me. There is an alchemy in this moment that hasn’t escaped me.

The rain returns, but the wind does not abate. Things seem more silent, though the sky flashes and the clouds rumble. I really should go to bed, I tell myself, but I linger and then, linger still.

Painting by Albert Beirstradt

Painting by Albert Beirstradt

Lock of Hair

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Flying Buddha & Buddhist Monk: Pinterest

I teach a meditation where you actually intend to think. It’s fairly simple. Once relaxed in a seated position you intentionally recall as many memories from your life as you possibly can. You hold none for more than a second or two, just enough to know what you’re remembering, then you drop it and look for another. One of the purposes of the meditation is to demonstrate there is no thought that can’t be pulled up and dropped just as quickly. That many thoughts, which at one time, had immense emotional charge to them can be picked up and put down as easily as thoughts that have no immediate effect on you at all.

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I practice this meditation often, especially when I find myself giving thoughts more power than they likely deserve. I was engaged in the meditation several months ago when the memory of a shopkeeper I’d worked for in the late seventies came to mind. I hadn’t thought of her in decades and the sudden recall of her brought a wonderful warmth to me. I’ve found things that still possess an emotional charge are always worth exploring. They are magic jars I stumble upon in the back of my mind that possess some understanding about myself. I never stumble onto them unless what they have to give is exactly what I am looking for in that moment. It was obvious her memory struck a cord and so I spent more time thinking of her when the meditation was complete.

Florian hired me for her haute couture dress shop on High Ridge Road when I was sixteen. I was a dirt-under-the-nails tomboy, the daughter of a farm-raised mother with seven children, mostly boys. There was not much attention given to the feminine in my house. Most days my mother was buried under five feet of laundry waiting to be washed and three pounds of spaghetti looking for a pot of boiling water for dinner. To me, Florian was a pink flamingo in my chicken coop life. I knew nothing of high heels or the right baubles for the right occasion, as she’d say. Working for Florian was an education in all things womanly.
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“Don’t slouch, dear. You look more like a sloth than the lovely young woman you are. Stand up and hold your gaze level with anyone’s eyes. Just do it softly, not as if your gunning them down. Think, I see into you, not through you”, she’d school me as she stood in her Evan Piccone suit. I often felt I was in training to be a film star, as there was something a bit larger than life about her. “Never be afraid to look at people or have an opinion. Your ideas are just as interesting and deep and delicious as the next person. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you should make a life out of using it well.”

Florian taught me to tuck my blouses into my panty hose to avoid shirt wrinkles beneath my skirt. She’d pass on her dress shop wisdom as we worked to set up displays, “You can tell a well-made blouse at a glance by the buttons. If they match the color or the fabric of the blouse, it is likely a more expensive shirt”. A great tip when quickly perusing the Goodwill racks, I’ve found. She had a way of buttoning up a shirt on its hanger that seemed almost Zen to me. She never rushed, even when we were busy. She really enjoyed the clothes she sold and relished their quality. Her focused way of moving through life utterly captivated me.
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Growing up with six siblings everything we did seemed rushed and everything we owned looked a decade old within a month of its purchase. Florian cared for things that would be intimately connected to her body as a gardener might tend her roses. When I think back on how fascinated I was by her style I realize she was my first Zen master. I had to slow down and breathe to keep up with her. She taught me to think of myself with reverence and care. That what touched my body should feel good to me and make me feel good about myself.
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I’d watch her walk down the center of the shop, moving with the grace of a swan, her arm aloft lazily, as she tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. I’d mimic her stance in the employee bathroom as I practiced different ways of seeing myself, other than the poor, awkward teenager I’d always thought I was.

“A little blush to the chin, nose and forehead make for a more natural appearance”, she’d note, as she applied her makeup meticulously. “Makeup is meant to enhance your beauty, not mask it.” She offered me her compact once and I practiced applying foundation. Another time I laid the eyebrow pencil too heavily and she called me Groucho Marx for a week. I wasn’t simply fond of her, I loved her and how beautiful she made me feel about myself. She had no children and I was as feral as a cat when I first came to work with her. When I look at the timing of our meeting I realize it was as perfect as one of her cashmere sweaters.
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Women flocked to her dress shop to partake not only of her clothes but her special joie de vivre. My home life, post my parent’s divorce, was a rocky place to be. Florian provided me a stable and very feminine haven that I would allow few other adults, at that time, to give me.

“Spend your money on classic pieces”, she’d advise as she held a pencil thin skirt in front of her before the mirror. “They’ll last a long time and you can get away with cheap trendy stuff thrown in for flare and style.” When the shop was slow she’d pick out an outfit and have me try it on. It was the supreme game of dress up. I don’t think I was comfortable being a girl most of the time. I spent more time acting like a boy, so to this tutelage I arrived like a fat sponge. I took everything she’d give me. Though, in looking back, I see now what I wanted more than anything was her confidence as much as her panache. She commanded a room even when that room was teeming with people who had demands.
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I looked her up on the internet after these musings, but only found her obit. A wave of nostalgia mixed with sadness rolled over me; like the passing of a great silver screen icon of old. Not very old, just my silver screen old.

We often think of meditation as escaping our thinking and separating our spirit from our human history. I have never found much richness in that. For me, meditation has taught me not to fear my thoughts or anything in my life. Not to be afraid to let my story rise and fall like flotsam on the ocean, for inside my thoughts are many of the stories I am using to create myself. Some of these stories serve me, while others do not. Meditation allows me to discern what to let go of and what to keep. Florian is a story that serves me, I think, as I lazily tuck a lock of hair behind my ear.

 

This piece was inspired by an exercise sponsored by blogger, Holistic Wayfarer on memories of our past that can be found at https://holisticwayfarer.com/2016/03/31/bonjour-texas-summer-1966/

Some wonderful pieces worth a read, I promise.