Saturday, October 31, 2009

To Have Peed or Not to Have Peeded? I Didn't Seem to Have an Option, But I Sure Could Have Used A Cheerleader

What on earth was I thinking when I wrote in my prior Musing "I am Dawn!" and stated I'd awake each morning with confidence thanks to accessing my Inner Cheerleader. As so often happens with whatever I write, I'm shown within 24 hours how I don't embody the shift my website nor my writing attests to.

Yes, it's hard to admit but the last thing I feel upon waking is the excitement suggested by an exclamation point. If anything, ! is more like the ball and bat with which I feel I've been hit before morning coffee and sometimes afterward. I don't look forward to the day or my life and this is hard to admit.

On this particular morning as I slogged downstairs my coffee-radar on, my Inner Cheerleader AWOL, I heard: Give me a C, Give me an R, Give me a EATE. What do you have? CREATE.

Jerry stood in sweats spelling out the perfect cheer. I went from slogging to hugging with no trace of my grumpiness to which we're accustomed. The cheering continued throughout the day in phone messages and at lunch creating for me a very different and contagious energy.

I called a friend who's attending a series of unending interviews and not only cheered for her but suggested her husband do likewise. While walking down the street, I cheered for my neighbor Judy raking leaves from the storm drains in the street. You can't cheer for someone else or be cheered for yourself without experiencing a positive energy shift. This may not apply if your team's severely loosing in a sporting event, though quantum physicists might argue cheering even helps then.

How on earth did the Dawn who burned her name and an exclamation mark in wood go AWOL?
How did I come to forget the girl in the hairnet( a potential dream catcher according to my friend Laura)? Who stole her fire or did she unknowingly quit tending it?

Fifth grade, around the time of the photo and the height of my wood burning period, was the best of times followed by the harshest. I had just glimpsed confidence having won the district speech contest in 4th grade and along with two friends getting one of three roles in a 5th grade play. This was a really big deal to the girl in the hairnet whose only performances other than church choir were in front of her bedroom mirror singing duets into a hairbrush with Karen Carpenter, Cher and various artists from Soul Train and American Bandstand. (Remember "Love Train?" I loved that song.)

These two positive events were quickly followed by public and private traumas starting with peeing on myself in the outfield during recess. The only thing making this worse was the outfield was asphalt. I wanted to sink into Mother Earth unlike the puddle that didn't sink but surrounded me. Instead I pretended to be throwing up, a 5th grade attempt at distracting my peer from the pee since a fellow outfielder walked over to ensure I was okay.

I rushed by the teacher whose rule was you either 'went' before or after recess, but not during. I ran by her and vaguely remember calling my mother to come get me. The event was never spoken about at least to me that I recall. There was nothing to cheer here other than maybe the fact that I cleared the playground. (Great, now that I'm allowing myself to truly think of this, I now wonder what happened to the puddle?)

This incident was followed by a total fall apart during another speech contest as my limbs, lips and voice quaked. At the conclusion, one parent said to another, "What happened to her? She did so well last year." Finding ways to avoid public speaking became the compass guiding my life so much so that I chose the only major in college which allowed me to trade taking speech class for diction which only required we sit in circles rather than stand before an audience. (In English class, my rule was broken due to having to recite poems and give very brief talks, mine were brief and I chose to break my rule when I tried out for yes, cheerleader. Somehow I discovered that when shouting neither my voice nor body trembled. I proudly cheered before my peers who to my dismay chose my girlfriends for the squad.)

The speech and pee incidents were closely followed by having to be resuscitated at camp during a treading water contest when I not only took myself down but a fellow camper with me. These three public events don't include my private fears of death and hell. Yes, each morning around this time I began to feel relief I had not awakened in hell, the firey burning kind thanks to the preacher's Sunday sermons, yet I awoke in my personal hell. I thought I had cirrohsis of the liver as a 5th grader because I was spitting up what I now know are tonsil stones but at the time sure looked like how I imagined my liver having read of it in the World Book Encyclopedia. I cried so much and waited to die as the fire in me dimmed. The girl who wrote Dawn! came to associate her name more with mourning than morning.

This week I've wondered what it would have been like to have had an outer cheerleader during the earlier events of my Fifth Grade years. These events probably wouldn't have birthed shame and its kin if in the outfield I had heard: "It's alright. It's okay. We all have accidents. Yours was today." Or what if after the speech I had heard: "You're alright. You're okay. We all get scared. Fear works that way."

Of course, my peers and parents were all part of a culture that was cheering deficient in the ways I desired. The beliefs of those times: "Pride goes before the fall" and "Children are to be seen and not heard" did not promote a cheer-ful environment. Thanks to the environment and above situations (I didn't even go into the boyfriend chapter of that era or more aptly stated boyfriendless chapters.), I emerged like most of us, needing a positive inner and outer cheerleaders. This brings me to: I need you. Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. You need me. Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. It's about reciprocity.

In the prior story I concluded with accessing my inner cheerleader. We need both, to be able to cheer ourselves on internally and also accept or ask for cheers from others. We need one another. The earth needs our cheers, the Universe might like a few and the angels and guides watching over us all would probably enjoy a cheer or two.

"Go, Friends, Go. There's a story to be told. Go, Earth, Go. Lovingly unfold." Cheers to us all.
-Dawn!, The Good News Muse

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm Dawn! (the one wearing a hairnet) Who are You?

No, this is not my Halloween costume nor the result of a sibling prank played by my younger brother or sister while gathering blackmail material for later in life. This is me at eleven, the me that had the confidence to wear a hairnet as well as pj's while posing for a photo. Can you believe I was actually posing wearing a hairnet? I can't. I look at her and wonder, 'Who on earth was this girl?'

She was the same eleven year old who upon receiving a wood burning kit for Christmas promptly burned her name Prometheus-like on a 3" X 12" piece of wood. She not only wrote her name but followed it with an exclamation point and hung the pronouncement on her bedroom door.

A few years ago, my sister upon helping my mother clean things out at home, brought me the sign. Even then I wondered who was this girl who not only wrote her name, but added the exclamation mark. I hung it over the door to my writing room and promptly forgot it. Last week, I took it from the door where it's ignored and began to ponder it and her.

The day after doing this, Lily and her mother, my friend, Alicia, walked down to visit. Actually I should write Lily! for Lily has no problem with owning who she is and stating what she needs to have happen in her life. In some cases Lily! doesn't state a thing, she just does it like happened this summer when she learned to ride her bike without assistance of the human or training wheel type. She wanted to learn so she did. My eleven year old and Lily! would have gotten along quite fine.

The day Lily came to visit, she wore her Halloween costume, a pink cheer leading outfit complete with pink pom poms. Someone earlier that day commented to Lily's mom that it would be great if we each had a cheerleader to encourage us throughout the day. This idea stayed with me long after Lily in her outfit and flip flops rode her older sister's mountain bike down the street. (Yes, she's now learning to ride an even bigger bike.)

I continued to think of having my own personal cheerleader as well as the girl who burned: Dawn! into the piece of wood that hung on her bedroom door throughout the days and nights of her childhood. I can list the many things that stole her fire, but I also know when, like Lily, I do what I know to do without concern for what others think, I feel that fire again. I feel her most when I lean into my fear and embrace adventure, whether it's in France as happened this summer or in my own home as I sit to write.

I could use a cheerleader to boost my resilience in the simplest of things. Last night as I sat
trying to determine how to use an external hard drive purchased for my computer nearly a year ago, her first cheer would have gone something like: Hit it. Hit it. Harder. Harder. (as in the computer screen) followed by:Break it. (clap, clap) Break it. (clap, clap). Once she realized I was not humored or supported, she would have cheered: You're alright. You're okay. Tomorrow is a brand new day followed by: Ask for help. (Clap 5 times.) Ask for help. (Clap 5 times.) You might have to be a sports fan to get the rhythm of the cheers.

Obviously I didn't break my computer although I didn't figure out hard drives. I did resolve to: Ask for help and either clap five times or click my heels together.

In the meantime, even when it's not Halloween, I will put on the costume of confidence, and wear it daily. I will go to sleep with it at night so I remember who I really am each morning. For I am Dawn!

Who are you! and what cheers do you want to hear from your Inner Cheerleader?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I'm Gonna Have to Face It, I'm Addicted to Mums

Bob and I have picked possibly the last beans of my inaugural gardening season. Everything but the beets, eggplants and lettuce have come to an end. Even the cherry tomatoes I wrote of
recently have met a watery demise as rains continue to fall.

Bob became my gardening go-to guy late in the growing season. We found one another in mid-August just after he had moved into a local store. There he sat on a shelf awaiting the holidays. Now he sits in my garden awaiting the next task. He's been spared the endless cycle of holiday tunes that play endlessly starting November 1st and I've gotten a gardening partner.

People complain about not being able to find 'good' help. Bob's in the garden 24/7. Always wearing the same content expression; he's reliable, steadfast and wise. When the bugs ate two of my three broccoli plants, Bob reminded me this opened space for green beans. When the cauliflower succumbed to the same bugs, he reminded that not only do I not eat cauliflower, but that space is good, just space, the empty rich void of garden soil. Bob's detached and never reactive. His motto? Don't just do something. Be here. Bob's Buddhist stance wasn't on the box alongside his tractor with the honking horn and gurgling engine.

Why Bob? Bob's derived from many musical Bob's. First there's Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame acclaimed recently for his Grammy with Nashville's Allison Krauss for "Raising Sand." We still think it should have been "Raising Crops." This Robert also co-wrote "Dirt in a Hole" which we thought might be "our" song, until we discovered it's more about a funeral than a garden. Then there's Blue's musician Robert Cray who I discovered in the very late Nineties (I'm slow). I love this Robert's song "Playing in the Dirt." Bob being a man of morals refuses to play the way the song suggests yet we still dig the song.

I should probably be embarrassed by the last Bob who was actually the first musical Robert who came to mind as Bob's namesake. This Robert made famous the 80's "Addicted to Love" - Robert Palmer, that is. Remember "You're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love." I know you're thinking, 'Dawn, you're gonna have to face it this is a really bad song from a musically lack luster era.'

Think what you must, we're proudly claiming "Addicted to Love" as our personal anthem, addicted to loving the Earth, that is.

Love, in our case, manifests in nature with plants and animals. I love nature except when an occasional hawk swoops down and grabs one of 'my' birds. With Bob's help, most days I can eventually love the hawk. It's tougher loving people. I've a hard time with hunters as evidenced with my former story, as well as politicians, tv preachers and people who think Mother Earth is their ashtray. It's not that I don't like people, but I can be in the foulest of moods and put me in the yard and my spirit rebounds.

Being someone who lives most of her life according to plans, my addiction to loving life intensifies when I synchronistically come upon real life go-to gardening guys. Sorry, Bob. While taking a slightly different route to the country last weekend, I passed a nursery advertising mums. I wasn't thinking about mums. Mums weren't on my 'to buy' list, yet I couldn't resist seeing what kind of mum one could buy when the sign read: Ten for $30. These mums would surely be Bob-sized. I'm gonna have to make amends to Bob.

I turned around and pulled into Burgess Falls Nursery where moments later Jay, the owner, was loading my trunk with mums about to bloom into the most gentle colors. These were not your usual brilliant purples and yellows for sale everywhere in Fall that eventually die and end up in the trash or compost if they're lucky. These mums were on the verge of blossoming into soothing pastels. To make it even better, they spread if their feet are kept dry with proper drainage.

Sitting on the counter, small brown bags with curious names written on the side enticed me. Inside were garlic bulbs which Jay noted would soon be ready for planting. Who could resist names like Susanville, Bogatyr, Chesnok Red or Music Pink? I drove away with garlic, directions for planting and a mum-filled trunk. Most importantly I sensed having met a kindred spirit. Spontaneous moments and meetings heighten my loving life and help me return to the flow when I don't even know I'm out of it.

Damp from the downpour that passed over during the mum spree, I wiped myself off with a towel from the floorboard. Dirt from my shoes sprinkled my face. Bob says we're here to learn from the plants. They don't complain when wet and dirty. On the contrary, they thrive. So should I.

Happily I stopped in next to see Mike at Mmkm Family Produce Market just down the road. We've only grown green beans so Mike's garden this Fall has provided us with white ones. On this particular day, I buy beans that once shelled are white with purple flecks. I walk out with a with a bag of beans, a handful of potatoes and squash for $4 and best of all the bag was biodegradable.

I wonder sometimes how long this new found love will last until I realize that's the whisper of fear in my ear. Fear says I'm fickle and will grow tired of playing in the dirt. Bob reminds me as long as I'm having fun, sowing and growing will never grow tiring.

In the meantime, as I lay to rest this years plants, next year's garden is being dreamed. Bob clears his throat at this juncture, a signal that I must confess, my dreams are coming to fruition. My order from for tomato and veggie cages as well as potato bins and bean grids arrived this week.

I'm happy to report that Bob and I rose early the next day, moving in day, and welcomed twenty six new souls to their home in our garden. Yes, I made another mum run and thanks to Jay returned with fourteen more. Now Bob sings, "Dawn, you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to mums."

At days end as I put away my tools, I thought, 'If this is my last day on earth, I have done exactly as I wanted, creating home for the mum souls entrusted to me for as French poet Gerard de Nerval said, "Every flower is a soul blossoming into nature." (from the Burgess Falls Nursery website).

I had found kindred souls at the nursery in plant and human form and lest I forget, earlier this summer in Bob form. As for amends, Bob says, "The only thing needing amending is this soil. Let's learn about composting these leaves and start playing in the dirt."

-Dawn, The Good News Muse,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Draggy Ass Energy, It's Causes and Cures

"Energy creates energy." - Sarah Bernhardt

There she stood at the door, my friend who I had not seen in months, announcing, "I just want you to know before I come in that I have draggy ass energy today."

To her surprise, I replied, "Please come in. I have draggy ass energy too." I was grateful to know there was a phrase for what I had.

She walked in. We hugged and laughed, then made peppermint tea laced with coconut oil. My friend sang the praises of coconut oil the first time she ever visited and I've had some on hand ever since.

Over the course of exchanging stories of France, dreams, astronauts and Africa, we laughed, teared up at times and smiled a lot. Somewhere in the midst of our sharing, my draggy-ass energy shifted.

Later that evening, a journal cover caught while bookstore browsing. I found within its pages a quote by Sarah Bernhardt, "Energy creates energy." My equation isn't as succinct as Sarah's, but I would add, Showing up and sharing transforms draggy ass energy.

A few days after writing the above, I found myself pondering the source of my DAE. As Jerry shared a story from the morning paper, I realized my energetic nose dive had nothing to do with the gray weather or planets in retrograde. It had nothing to do with peri-menopause or politics. It started with hiking.

I had just returned from Arizona hooked on hiking. One day we covered 9.5 miles on Templeton trail winding around Sedona's red rocks. I couldn't turn down a trail sharing the name of my dearly loved but deceased cat. Another lesser hike led us into a canyon where we eventually came upon a stream lined with cat tails and clear pools reflecting the red rock walls. (The photo's not upside down. That's the reflection.) I determined once home that I would be found hiking every weekend and even some weekdays when my schedule allowed.

My first two days back I made it to the local lake where I put in four miles daily. That weekend we drove to our house in the country which to my new found excitement is only a few minutes from land set aside by the state government for hiking.

With my new enthusiasm, I determined this weekend would be different. Instead of diving into a long list of chores on Saturday, I suggested we hike to Polly's Branch Falls and the Caney Fork River. When we were last at the river, there was no water only huge boulders where water usually flows.

We headed out. I was elated. A Fall filled with hikes in nature's beauty stretched before us. We arrived at the trail head to find we weren't the only ones to hit the woods. Two tents surrounded by all kinds of gear were set up near the parking lot. This was strange. Most people try to get away from the parking lot to camp.

A young man approached me and said, "You can't hike during hunting season."

Just as I began to tell this stranger I was going to hike, a ranger arrived. My relief was short lived as he confirmed that deer season began three weeks prior and would continue into December. He suggested that I hike down the road. I was furious over being unable to hike but also over hunting in general. I unloaded on this ranger stranger saying that I wished I would live to see a day when men who hunt would find something meaningful in which to invest their energies instead of killing animals.

As I walked away, he said, "Don't forget we have to share." I only wished I had told him I'm one of the most sharing people I know but I would never desire to share with people who used guns to kill animals for pleasure or to prove their manhood (or womanhood).

Down the road, we found a hiker-filled trail about which I should have been happy as in 'yeah, people are appreciating nature, but I wasn't. My devastation had company, profound sadness, not over loosing 'my trails' for three months but over how we treat animals.

The week prior as I had watched Ken Burn's documentary, "The National Parks - America's Best Idea" I wept seeing buffalo herds decimated and photos of men posing by rows of wolf, elk, and bear hides as well as birds killed by the thousands so women could have plumes on hats. And although these events eventually birthed the Sierra Club and Audubon Society, my body shook with sorrow seeing the slaughter of the animals who had called America home long before we arrived.

Now you know, and more importantly I know, the reason for my draggy ass energy. I talked myself out of kick-ass energy (not necessarily the answer) into a cocktail of powerlessness, hopelessness, despair and resignation.

The hunters were the last straw in a series of proverbial straws that had been piling up inside me. The "pile" included how animals we ultimately eat are treated in corporate farms of concrete prior to making it to our dinner plate as well as how animals are used in research labs for new medicines and the study of disease.

Several of the straws relate to our unconsciousness around the multitude of ideas and inventions birthed by animals. The quill (aka feather) was used for writing from the 6th to 19th century. How often do we write by hand or computer or read anything and realize this all started with a bird's feather? How simple and profound that a feather was a basic building block in our communicating with one another. Birds inspired flight and our car engines have "horse power." I know you know these things, but I need to remind me and us. This helps me somehow counteract the 'straws' that continue to accumulate in the pile.

I don't often read the newspaper, but lately when I do I find things like: Tennessee expects record bear hunt. Why do Tennesseans or anyone for that matter need to hunt bears? Naive me, I assume it's because they want a bear skin on their floor.

Then I happen upon a story in the Oct. 17th Tennessean that provides a clue. This story involves a man making $394 from the sale of 300 doves. I should have known. What was I thinking? Of course, money's involved. The story also reveals that the feds are storing 2,000 pounds of mussel shells in a poaching case. The mussels were only tens of thousands illegally harvested from TN rivers and shipped to Japanese pearl makers. (I'm not prone to buying pearls, but now I know I won't.) The same report relates how the dove selling man allegedly sold deer and rabbits last year. I don't want to sound harsh. What if this man needs money to support his family. Charlie Brown in me says, "Arrrgggh, someone give this man a job."

I need to be talked down, until I realize, the ranger was right. Yes, the ranger was right. We need to share. That's at the root of my issue. Stuffing and not sharing caused my draggy ass energy. Sharing shifted it. The ranger was right. We need to share. The animals have been sharing this land with us since our arrival. I long for an attitude of gratitude, like native people have, for the animals that so willing give to us and live with us. As the ranger suggests and Sarah B. said, "Energy creates energy." The shared energy of the animal and plant sustains us. Did the ranger know about quantum physics, the science showing that we're all entangled and sharing everything? Even me and the hunter? I cringe.

A voice inside says, "Yes, you and the hunter."

All I want is for people to stop being greedy. The voice says, "Then first stop being greedy with your love. Send the hunter your love."

"Even the ones in Alaska who are hunting wolves aerially?"

"Yes," says the voice.

I don't know if I can do that. Let me start with the hunters in my area. I can send blessings to those who will savor deer meat this winter. I envision them honoring the animal sharing its life with them. And for those who feel they must hang any animal's head on their wall, I wish for them new ways to hold their own heads high and feel a sense of pride being a human, ways that don't involve hierarchy over others or animals.

As I wind down this unending story, I recall several photos circulating in the internet sphere lately, photos of odd animal pairs. There was the young bobcat curled up sleeping on the fawn in the aftermath of the California fires. There's the depressed orangutan at an animal rescue mission whose funk lifted when Roscoe the hound dog arrived. This email even includes the odd couple dog paddling. And of course there are periodic news stories of mother dogs nursing kittens and all kinds of babies that aren't their kin.

The animals are sharing with us lessons, differences can be overcome. I would love to see the day when I begin getting internet stories with photos showing former hunters pointing out bears and wolves to his children through binoculars, not the scope of a gun.

Should you choose after this, to continue to read my Musings, I suspect there will be more of these attempts at discerning the "Good News" in all of this. It's hard to think of myself as being the Good News Muse when I feel this angry and upset. Yet untangling this starts with owning my truth especially when it's uncomfortable, judging and complicated and yes, in turn sharing that with you. Thank you for being part of the cycle of sharing. For me, in good and hard times, that is Good News.
Dawn, The Trying to Find the Good News Muse
** Sign up for easy to sign environment/animal email petitions at Earth to Care . Last week alone, I signed two e-petitions one asking the Obama administration to halt aerial hunting of wolves in Alaska, yes, this means hunting them by helicopter ! That's not hunting. That's stalking and terrorizing.

Nature Knocks

Recently I was wandering and wondering why duckweed is called duckweed, since I've only seen deer eating it at the lake's edge. On cue, I heard a clicking sound and looked to my right to see nearly two dozen geese, duck kin, sitting in the middle of the fluorescent green goo snacking. I immediately began snapping away or tried to. My camera battery only allowed a couple of photos.

Fortunately I was forced to listen. The clicking sound made as they nibbled away reminded me of the sounds of typing class in high school before computer days. The geese tapped a Morse code of sorts. I allowed the sound to filter into my experience. The geese were knocking on the door of Me.

Lately I often wonder if all of nature, like the geese, isn't speaking to us in its own special code. For example, earlier in the summer while in Sedona, I noticed the shapes of clouds in the sky mirrored the earthly terrain. Did the mountains provide the template for the clouds or vice versa? Then I realized the mountainous lines mirrored the curves of the body. Our substance comes from the earth, why not our shapes?

At times whether we notice or not, there is no secret code. The communication
is obvious. We are being watched. What do the trees see? How do they feel
about us knowing we've stripped so much of the land of their kin?

The photo I took this summer while hiking near the village of Supai, home of the Havasupai living in the Western portion of the Grand Canyon says it all. Nature is love and we are loved. How do I know we are loved by nature? I just know. Or like the song that crossed my mind goes, "Trees so love us this I know. The one in Supai told me so."

Plants and animals are immensely loving of us. They are equally forgiving of our ignorance and negligence. I include myself when I write ignorance and negligence, because contrary to what the geese found this week when they knocked on the door of Me, there have been plenty of times when they would have not found anyone at 'home.' I have been an absentee landlord unknowingly so much of my life.

More moments than not, more days than not, I am 'at home' now when Nature knocks. Where are you?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Leaf

When in the prior Musing I wrote "the power is in my hands" I immediately thought of this leaf.

Monday while on a morning walk, I noticed the leaf as it made it's way earthward. It spiraled through the air before landing nearby. I paused aware I was the only person around to witness its falling. I was the only person around to witness the delicate dance it did upon letting go. At times the way the light touched it, it looked like brown taffeta.

I felt compelled to pick it up and take it with me, to contemplate it and allow it a last walk. Immediately I noticed it's veins, revealing a tree within the leaf as well as tiny spots of green.

In Fall, we anticipate yellow, orange and red covering Tennessee's hillsides especially when the rains, sun and a sudden cold snap coincide just right. We don't look forward to brown leaves, yet this leaf to me in all its brownness was and is beautiful.

Yes, I still, now three days later have the leaf. I temporarily misplaced it and felt horrible for having taken it out of nature to begin with. This is one of my well intentioned but sometimes bad habits - collecting feathers, shells and leaves that move me only to keep them longer than I need before returning them to their home outside. (The one I feel worst about is the huge gray ocean rock I brought home on the plane years ago from Big Sur. Although he sits outside, my landlocked Nashville home is a far cry from the Pacific. I smile at the thought of returning him.)

So before returning the leaf to its proper home, the earth, I hold it one more time. Tears come to my eyes. With times passage, the leaf is brittle but still beautiful. The tree shaped veins are even more noticeable.

My eyes well up as associations flood me. I want to do my part to love the trees and their leaves. We are intertwined. I want to appreciate beauty always in my life, especially nature's beauty. And for some reason I think of my grandparents all gone now from this world, but my grandmothers especially loving nature. They led quite lives, one passed suddenly and one prolonged in a nursing home. I think often lately of the untended wisdom that dies with each passing generation. We are intertwined. This little leaf reminds me to appreciate the living and the dead, not only in nature but on my own family tree. This little leaf reminds me of what I miss even in the leaves by unconsciously labeling the brightly colored ones the 'good' ones and dismissing those that choose brown for their final coat of color. This little leaf reminds me that awareness will never be a lost art in my life as long as I remember to notice and listen. For this I am very grateful.
-Dawn Kirk, "The Good News Muse"

Friday, October 2, 2009

Disconnection & Turning On

For several days now I've felt disconnected. I've blamed my state on Mercury being in retrograde as well as vacation let down, having just returned from time away.

Yet there have been glimpses of connection interspersed throughout disconnection. Two mornings I made myself hike somewhere other than my neighborhood. I was cranky and cold due to the suddenly cooler weather, yet within minutes of walking among the trees of Radnor Lake, peace descended or opened inside me. I determined it wasn't solely an inner or outer thing but a dance between inner and outer.

Likewise, one evening, I walked across the street to visit with a neighbor on her front porch something I rarely do especially as days grow shorter. Judy is a gem. She offered me chocolate and caught me up on the neighborhood in my time away. Once again I felt connected.

As is not surprising with Mercury the planet ruling communication is in retrograde, the internet on my desktop was out for nearly two weeks. Yesterday a technician arrived to see if he could determine the problem. Instead of the problem being outside my home as the phone assistants insisted, Terry, we'll call him, determined the problem was actually my modem. He replaced the modem and stuck around to ensure everything was up and runnning. This morning, I decided to call and say 'thank you' much to Terry's surprise. The first words out of his mouth when he heard it was me was, "What's wrong? Is it not working again?" So accustomed to hearing complaints, he couldn't quite grasp I was sincerely expresssing my thanks.

These simple events, hiking in nature, visiting a neighbor, calling someone to express appreciation, took little time and cost nothing. Yet in each situation I was acutely aware of feeling connected within and without.

Last night just before sunset, I arrived in the country for the weekend. I anticipated seeing not the view or my home, but my little garden left untended for nearly three weeks. The first thing I did upon arriving was check on the eggplants and watermelon I had left growing on the vine. They along with tiny ripe tomatoes greeted me. I popped a cherry tomato in my mouth. An, the taste. A handful later became my dinner.

Upon settling in, I determined that after weeks of not writing I wanted to share this. I turned on my laptop only to find the internet not working. I rebooted numerous times as well as tinkered with the internet connection without any luck. Mercury was having a field day with me.

The final time I tried to go on line, I realized my computer screen held an option that read: Diagnose the problem. Funny, I've never noticed that prior. I clicked on "Diagnose" knowing my expertise is so minimal in this regards that I probably wouldn't be able to 'fix' the problem. You can imagine my smile as I read: "Turn the wi-fi button located at the front of the laptop."

I'm not sure I even knew I had a wi-fi button. This was perfect. My inability to 'connnect' was due to my own not knowing I was turned off and had the personal capacity to switch to 'on.' How often do we go about life not realizing we've the option of turning 'on'? How often do we not realize the power is in our hands? The power to not only switch my wi-fi button on, but the power to tend the earth, prepare food, heal ourselves and others, write this story, lay down our weapons and send loving energy around the planet and throughout the spheres.

The power is in my hands, yet if I'm unaware of a simple button literally before me how can I expect greater levels of awareness? Maybe it starts simply with being aware of now.

As I reflect on my disconnect this prior week, the times in which I felt connection were related to turning 'on' my awareness. These times involved getting out of the container of small self that dwells on, for me at least, my to-do list. I am 'on' when I'm in nature, when I visit a neighbor or smell the ripening pears in my cold, dark garage nearly ready for fall creations. I am 'on' when I take time to really notice summer's last geranium or the little lizard outside the door. Through awareness and my senses, I turn on.

This is the Good News. At any moment, we can flip our inner switch and turn on to life. The power, our life is in our hands.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse,